It is the last week of January and I do not know about you all, but I have somewhat had my fill of winter chills. I am looking forward to spring as if it is only days away! Nonetheless, there is a bit more winter to come; while it is here, we should all enjoy this #soupweather for the cozy bowls of goodness that it offers. I am never too eager for snuggles and spoons. When I think of hearty soups, of course, my grandmother comes to mind. She had a thing for sweet potatoes and squash- never together but separately, she had more recipes for the duo than one could ever imagine. And as for myself, well I hated them both. Equally.
In 2016, I would soon realize how perfect each could be! Once I started adulting (and pounds stuck in places I never expected), I begin branching out; trying veggies, I never once gave a second glance. I am head over heels for the fleshy veggies; however, butternut squash and sweet potato are very firm, large vegetables to handle. It can be difficult to cut each down to cook when you want a flavorful yet simple soup in less than 30 minutes. That said, I have a few tips that you may wanna jot down and apply before the Spring rolls in:
- Opt for pre-diced butternut squash. Pre-diced butternut squash cooks more evenly and SAVES TIME! It is perfect for a quick soup- no one really wants to deal with the fussy stuff when you are hungry.
- Dice your sweet potato the same size as the butternut squash. Potato can take a bit longer to soften if you chop it too large. Under-cooked potato is just…no.
- Rather than boiling, opt for pan roasting then simmering your veggies. This will enhance the natural flavors and allow your stock to be absorbed before blending.
- Season. SEASON. There are very few foods worse than a bland soup so please a bit of salt at each stage. Did you use water instead of broth? Add a dash of salt.
- Any good soup deserves a tad bit of acidity. Therefore, in honor of this beautiful, citrus season, I added the juice of an orange slice. You could use a tad of whatever acidic element you have, like lemon or even a splash of rice vinegar.
Lastly, get creative with your toppings- i.e. use whatever you have! Butternut squash and sweet potato give you the perfect pairing of a sweet yet savory blend that is hard to mess up! Get creative: does it need a little kick? How about crunch? Maybe even a little cream (if you are still riding the dairy train, like myself)? Coconut milk, olive oil, sriracha, butter, bacon…I mean, seriously, this bowl is your canvas.
Time to paint one hell of a bite, my loves.