Roasted Butternut Squash and Golden Beet Soup with Coconut Milk (Vegan)
Just a quick post today because I've got a lot going on! I've been teaching 5 yoga classes a week, I picked up 10-day private chef gig, I've got a show at a local brewery with my band tonight and I'm hosting a dance party tomorrow night. Phew! And on top of all of that I've been doing a lot of inner healing work that's been completely emotionally and psychically exhausting. I've been spending a lot of time journaling, reading, dancing, drawing, praying, meditating and talking with friends and family. I feel this intense energetic pull dragging me towards living my inner truth, acknowledging my inner power, honoring my heart. But to sit and truly live from the ground of Self is so much easier said than done. It requires saying out loud everything that you truly want, truly feel, truly need. It means acknowledging the parts of yourself that hurt and need healing. It means loving yourself enough to be real in spite of the consequences.
I’m having to summon all of my strength to care for myself well right now. Making big inner shifts is pretty damn exhausting. I feel a psychic / emotional fatigue I’ve never felt before.
This probably sounds trite, but I think hot soup is pretty good medicine for spiritual aches and pains. Well, it is for me anyway. Whenever I'm tired or sad I inevitably end up making myself a soup of some sort: a miso-broth ramen, a moroccan tomato soup, a creamy squash bisque. There's something about soup that makes me feel both nurtured and nourished. It's my way of self-mothering, I think.
I originally set about to make this butternut squash and yellow beet soup with humble aspirations, not thinking it would be blog-worthy. I had a bunch of honeynut squash (a smaller, sweeter variety of butternut squash) lying around. And at the time it was the only fresh produce I had in the house other than golden beets. So naturally I made a soup with the two in combination.
That's always how it goes. The recipes I make casually and with little to no fanfare are the ones that shine truest. I've learned over the years that my inner kitchen-muse really dislikes plotting, planning and obsessing. Little good comes from living in my left-brain when I've got something simmering on the burners. Naturally, it's the recipes that flow out of me in the midst of my day-to-day life, the ones that bubble up without conscious thinking that go farthest. Those are the ones that make it into my heart and soul and that tend to connect most successfully with all of you out there reading this.
Despite the fanciness of the way I styled this butternut squash and yellow beet soup at home, this soup is one of those daily staples that easily enters the weekly rotation. I've been making it about once a week since the official beginning of Fall -- even though it's still a balmy 80 degrees in Virginia during the days.
Soups are a success in my house when they're simple but taste complex. So this one hits that mark easily, a combination of roasted honeynut squash, earthy-sweet golden beets and creamy coconut milk with a touch of apple cider vinegar to brighten it all up. If you can find the honeynut squash variety of butternuts for this soup I highly recommend using those. If you can't find them, regular butternuts work well -- although they're not as sweet, so the soup might need a dash of maple syrup or a splash of apple cider to get the right balance of flavors.
The pan-fried golden beets on top are not to be missed. On a day-to-day basis I like to layer them on toast with a thick spread of miyokos smoked farmhouse cashew cheese (aka my current obsession). Or I just eat them straight out of the pan. They give this squash soup some interest and depth of flavor, the crispy saltiness of the hot beets playing against the smooth sweetness of the soup.
Butternut Squash and Yellow Beet Soup with Coconut Milk
Created by Renee on October 11, 2017
Note: Honeynut squash is a small, sweet variety of butternut squash — you can easily sub it out for butternut squash, kabocha squash or any variety of sweet-fleshed winter squash you prefer.
- Cook Time: 45m
- Total Time: 45m
- Yield: 2-3 servings
- 3 honey nut squashes (~4 cups roasted squash flesh)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 golden beets (~ 2 1/2 cups chopped / sliced)
- 1/4 cup water (to steam beets)
- 1 small white onion
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed, freshly crushed in a morter
- 1 can full fat coconut cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- water, as needed, to get the thickness you prefer
- salt / pepper
- optional garnishes: fresh thyme, halved tomatoes, basil blossoms, nasturtiums
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (for easier clean-up). Slice the honeynut squashes lengthwise down the center. Don’t worry about scooping out the seeds, we’ll do that after the squash is roasted. Drizzle olive oil lightly over the cut sides of the squash and sprinkle a little bit of salt over top as well. Place the squashes cut-side-down on your baking sheet. Roast for 25-35 minutes, until a fork slides easily into both the base and neck of the squash. Let cool 5 minutes before handling.
- Peel and chop 3 of the beets to add to the soup (about 2 cups). Peel the last beet (about 1/2 cup) and slice into thin rounds and set aside.
- Set a soup pot on medium-low heat and add olive / coconut oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softening and starting to become translucent. Add the 2 cups of chopped beets and about 1/4 cup water, cover and let steam until all of the water has cooked off and the beets are soft enough to cut with a fork (add more water to steam as needed until the beets are soft).
- Once the squash is done roasting and is cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds and discard. Then scoop the squash flesh into the soup pot. You can discard the skin, although it’s perfectly edible and you could choose to include it. If you’re going to add the skin I would suggest using an electric immersion blender to get everything smooth once all of the ingredients are added.
- Add the crushed coriander seed, coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Mash everything together and add water as needed to get the soup thickness you like. I only added 1 cup of water, as I like a really thick texture. Then add salt and pepper as desired, to taste. At this point you can choose to leave the soup unblended so that you get bites of yellow beet within the soup; or you can blend with an immersion blender for a super smooth texture.
- For the fried golden beets (I generally get these started while the soup is cooking on the other burner): heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced beets and about 2 tablespoons of water and cover. Steam for 5 minutes or so, until the beets soften. Then add a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Spread the beets out on the pan so they are not overlapping and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are blackening and getting crispy.
- Serve the soup hot with fried beets on top. Enjoy!