When it’s a bit chilly out, it can be tough to nosh down on protein smoothies all the time. Even when it’s nice outside, there’s no feeling quite like curling up with a nice hot, belly-soothing soup. There’s a reason why they’re called ‘comfort foods’, because they quite literally warm your heart!
I’m all about the simplicity of ingredients, using whole foods as close to their natural state as possible is the best way to ensure a healthy meal. It’s not about counting calories or any other silly numbers when it comes to good food. In fact, utilising healthy fats will create a satisfying meal. Our bodies want to use fat for energy, it’s how it can run most optimally, as fats are more sustainable. When we start getting used to this, just a little bit of natural sweetness can go a long way in the tastebud department.
The caramelised pumpkin and onions will balance out the garlic and spice to create a warm and sweet, yet savoury flavour...
What you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 Japanese Pumpkin (or Acorn Squash as they’re called in the US)
- 2 - 3 medium carrots
- medium sized piece of ginger (about 2-3in / 5-7cm squared)
- 3 cups fresh spring or filtered water
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 1 small onion
- pinch of salt
- freshly ground pepper
- a dash of cinnamon
- fresh parsley and/or coriander
Turn on the broiler/grill in your oven and allow to pre-heat. Dice the pumpkin into 1-2 inch squares (3-5cm). Take half of your coconut oil (1/8 cup) and grease the bottom of a glass or metal baking pan. Arrange your squares evenly spaced apart and sprinkle salt, pepper, and cinnamon over the top. Place in the grill and allow to broil until they are brown and crisp on top, and very soft and mushy on the inside.
While pumpkin is broiling, bring your 3 cups of water to boil in a medium pot. Slice carrots and ginger into thin coins and add to the water, cover and allow to simmer on medium heat.
Using a garlic press, crush garlic and add to the carrots while they are cooking. Return the lid to cover and cook until soft.
Dice onion and place in a small saucepan on medium-low heat. Using about 2 Tbsp of coconut oil, stir occasionally and cook until they are brown and soft. Add a little bit of water and continue on low heat to allow them to caramelise.
Take the pumpkin out and allow it to cool, and turn the heat off of the carrots. Pour the carrots and ginger with water and garlic (do not drain) into a blender. Add cooked pumpkin and coconut cream. Add a pinch more salt to taste.
Blend together until smooth, adding more water if it is too thick, and reach your desired consistency. Pour the entire mixture back into your pot and heat on low just until small bubbles begin to form.
Take off heat, and immediately pour into bowls, serve with caramelised onions and finely chopped fresh herbs on top. I like to add a piece of sprouted grain toast with butter or ghee on the side for dipping!