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My table top is piled high with butternut squash, though I couldn’t give two hoots because this earthy decor stores stores in its own skin for months on end, helping to weather the winter with dazzling orange flesh! This soup resulted from the kitchen alchemy that is always spawned by a seemingly empty pantry and refrigerator. But I like to follow my own advice on keeping the pantry powered. With a few basic staples and one or two main ingredients, you can always make a meal. This is one of those gems that uses up all the forgotten bits and pieces, like badly bruised apples and “aged” bread.
Last summer, Stefan Senders of Wide Awake Bakery and I taught a class called “The Life of a Loaf.” Our recipes were based on Stefan’s theory that the aging loaf (not stale) offers flavors and textures you’ll never find in “fresh” bread. He encourages every eater to learn the life-cycle of bread; to appreciate its changes and embrace the complexity and changing beauty. Croutons are one of the many recipes that are best made with aged bread, along with bread crumbs, French toast, bread salads and more.
Another way this soup is resourceful is its use of Parmesan rinds. These forgotten ends add rich substance to soup, and are melted, chewy treasures to discover in a spoonful.
In this post, you'll learn how to make turkey stock. This process can be applied to making chicken, pork or beef stock as well. If you are shopping for stock, choose a carton of organic stock (including vegetable) that contain legible and familiar ingredients (avoid curious-sounding words). I also like to make stock with concentrated bouillon. "Better than Bouillon" is a reliable brand. Follow the instructions on the jar for making the amount needed.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (sub with ghee or vegetable oil)
- 2 small yellow onions, diced
- 1.5 cups diced carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 9 cups diced butternut squash
- 1 apple, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 1-2 Parmesan rinds, wax scraped off
- 3 cups cubed sourdough bread (sub with multi-grain or whole wheat)
- 3 tablespoons melted ghee (sub with butter or olive oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 avocado, sliced
- acorn squash seed oil, or olive oil
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute until translucent.
- Add the carrots, salt and pepper, and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the stock, water, salt, pepper and bay leaf, and simmer covered for about 5 minutes.
- Add the squash, apple and bay leaf and stir.
- Cover the vegetables with the water and stock. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the squash is fork-tender.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Use an immersion blender or food processor to blend the soup. Return the soup to the burner and add the parmesan rinds. Simmer on low until ready to serve (or until rinds are melted).
- Garnish with acorn squash seed oil, croutons and avocado.
- Drizzle with acorn squash seed oil! Such a delicious and robust finish.
- Storage: Store leftovers in plastic or freezer-safe glass containers. Allow to cool before putting in the freezer. Label your containers with the name of the contents and date. Liquids expand when frozen, so leave an inch of headspace between the surface of the soup and the top of the container.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Toss the bread with the ghee and salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Storage: Store any croutons you don't use in an airtight container on the counter, for up to 1 week.