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From my plate to yours,
Leesa


Creamy Winter Vegetable Soup

Creamy Winter Vegetable Soup

Well hello, winter weather (finally!). In Southern California, where I currently reside, "soup season" doesn't really hit the ground until mid-January. However, I'm feeling like getting started a little early.

This soup is smooth and creamy, and oh so dreamy! But if you prefer more texture to your blended soups, only blend 1/2 of the soup, or if using an immersion blender, only blend until desired consistency is reached. I personally prefer soup this way, where it's rich and velvety, yet still offers a fun variety of textures.

This soup is extremely simple, and absolutely delicious. I hope you feel nourished and loved as you sip a bowl of it this winter.

This recipe makes about 4 servings. 

INGREDIENTS. 
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in cold water for 2-8 hrs.
- 4 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch thick coins
- 1 medium sweet potato, diced
- 1 cube vegetable bouillon + 4 cups filtered water, or 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets, discard hard center of the crown
- 1/2 medium butternut squash, roasted and scooped from skin, or cut into cubes
- 2 tsp fresh or dried herbs, I used a combination of rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme
- 1 T. apple cider vinegar
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS.
1. Heat 2 T. EVOO over low heat in a large soup pot.

2. Once the pot is warmed, add onion and season with a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, until lightly golden or translucent. 

3. Add chopped sweet potato, sliced carrot, and cauliflower florets to the pot. Stir to coat evenly with oil. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. *If using raw butternut squash, add it during this step instead of later.

4. Add filtered water and vegetable bouillon (or vegetable stock) to the pot. Sprinkle in fresh or dry herbs. *Turmeric, ginger, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, basil… any of these would also be lovely here. Create your own unique combination of seasonings! Hold a few open jars of spices from your pantry or garden up near your nose to smell. If the combination your holding smells good together, they'll likely taste good together. This is how I do it, at least ;)

5. Bring the mixture to a soft boil, then reduce heat to low. 

6. Cover the pot with a lid, and let steam for 10 minutes.

7. Once the vegetables are fork-tender, add roasted butternut squash to the pot (if already cooked), and stir to incorporate. 

8. Drain and rinse cashews and add to the container of a high-speed blender. Add 1/2 the soup mixture, and puree until very smooth. Transfer back to the rest of the soup. *If using an immersion (hand) blender, add the cashews and a few ladles of soup to a large, high-rimmed bowl. Blend the mixture until the cashews are completely smooth, and return to the rest of the soup. Then continue to blend the entire pot of soup until your desired consistency is reached.

9. Stir in the remaining 2 T. EVOO and apple cider vinegar.

Serve with a locally baked, high-quality bread (if you're in San Diego, try Prager Brothers artisan bread), and/or your favorite toppings.

I like to serve this soup with a dollop of tangy, unsweetened greek yogurt (grass-fed / organic) and a pinch of organic micro greens. You can also sprinkle your bowl with hemp hearts, chopped pecans, or fried sage (pan-fried in EVOO until crisp). 

I hope you enjoy experimenting with your own favorite combinations of herbs and spices, I think it's what makes each chef unique! 

NUTRITIONAL TIDBITS.
Vitamin A - 490% DV
Vitamin C - 89% DV
Manganese - 35% DV
Copper - 24% DV
Vitamin K - 38% DV

Listen, I don't count calories. I also don't worry extensively about the proportions of fat / carbohydrate / protein in my food. This is a personal choice and it's helped me overcome obsessions about my body and my food. I eat until satisfied, and select foods that nourish me as a whole (mind, body, spirit). However, if you're in a situation where you need to be mindful of your macronutrients, please feel free to insert the ingredients listed here into a nutrient calculator like Cronometer, so that you have a guide for your own personal needs. If you're interested in the recipe but need modifications, please send me an email, I'd be happy to help you rework it.

Okay, lovely people. That's all for now!
LM

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