I know it’s not technically fall yet, but it feels incredibly close. It’s my favorite season – not only is it Mike’s and my 5-year anniversary, but I also love the recipes, the colors, the fashion and the weather. The air is a little cooler and I find myself gravitating towards thicker blankets and comfort food. I love to make this Butternut Squash Soup throughout the cold weather seasons. It really brings out those “cozy feelings” that we all seek when the leaves start to turn.
This year I tried something slightly different with the recipe that made a big impact for me. I added Amaranth (Red Garnet Amaranth microgreens) from American Pride MicroFarm) as garnish and was amazed at how much they enhanced the flavor. The microgreens taste like beets with an earthy flavor that pairs nicely with the sweetness of the butternut squash. It’s subtle, yet I can’t imagine this soup without them now. It really is incredible what microgreens can bring to a recipe.
With all the happiness that fall brings for me, there is some sadness sprinkled in as well. My Dad passed away in the fall when I was a lot younger and although I miss him everyday, I find myself thinking about him a lot more during this time of year. The photos placed in my shoot were taken by my Dad with his old Canon Tlb SLR. He was an incredible artist, one of my favorites.
I like to think he knows what I’m up to with my photography these days… much like the fall, I sense that he’s nearby too.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH AMARANTH
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, pealed and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cups cubed butternut squash
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Amaranth microgreens for garnish and beet flavor
Note: I got my microgreens from American Pride MicroFarm.
1. Heat oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven.
2. Add carrot, celery and onion.
3. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften, 3-4 minutes.
4. Stir in butternut squash, thyme and chicken broth.
5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30-minutes.
6. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth, returning to the pot once blended.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with Amaranth and drizzle with olive oil.
Note: Amaranth is a microgreen that is very pink in color. The flavors are earthy and smooth, similar to beets.
All images © Regan Baroni 2015.