Vegan, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Paleo
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Yield: 4 bowls
In Chinese medicine, fall is the season of the lungs. It is a time when the lungs are open. They are both more vulnerable and susceptible to problems but also more accessible and able to receive strength and nourishment. Many foods in this recipe are traditionally used to support lung health. It’s no coincidence that these foods and their flavors “taste like fall” to people around the world. Butternut squash, shallot, garlic, ginger, and carrot, as well as the cinnamon, cardamom, clove and nutmeg in the Chaga Chai are all “lung foods”.
This is a simple recipe that lets the flavor of the butternut squash take center stage. Most of that flavor comes from roasting the squash. It’s may seem like an extra step to roast it, and in my opinion it’d be worth it just for the taste, but it will save you a lot of effort. It’s much, much easier to scoop the roasted squash out of the shell than it is to peel and chop the squash while raw.
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved vertically and seeded
- 2 large carrots, washed and topped
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 cup chopped shallot (about 2 large shallot bulbs)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1/4 cup minced, fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Chaga Chai
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Up to 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- Preheat the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet or casserole pan with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash and carrots on the pan and drizzle them with just enough olive oil to lightly coat. Rub the oil over the carrots and the inside of the squash and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Turn the squash face down and roast until it is tender and completely cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes. Once they’re cooked let the squash and carrots cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Then chop the carrots into chunks and use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash into a bowl and discard the tough skin.
- While the squash is cooling, grab a saute pan and warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped ginger and shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- If you have a Vitamix or other high speed blender, transfer the cooked shallot, ginger, and garlic to your blender. Add the reserved butternut, maple syrup, Chaga Chai, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Pour in the vegetable broth, being careful not to fill the container past the max line (if you have to work in batches, combine blended soup portions in a stock pot and stir in any remaining broth later). Add the final 1 tablespoon or so of olive oil and blend well. Taste, and stir in more salt and pepper if necessary. Securely fasten the lid and select the soup preset, being careful to avoid hot steam escaping from the lid. The blender will stop running once the soup is super creamy and hot.
- If your blender doesn’t have a soup preset then heat the broth in a sauce pan before adding to the blender. If you are working with an immersion blender, add the roasted squash and carrots to the pot, then add the broth, maple syrup, Chaga Chai and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper before blending.
- This can be served immediately or refrigerated for up to 4 days (leftovers taste even better!) just be sure to let it cool all the way before putting it in the fridge. You can also freeze this soup for up to 90 days.
This soup probably doesn’t need a garnish, but I think it’s makes it more fun. Feel free to add a sprinkle of Power Pepper, some cilantro, or some toasted pepitas. Personally, I like to float a few slices of pickled okra.