Soup Season

Updated: Feb 11, 2019

It's officially soup season! I love this time of year and the bounty of local produce at its peak. Bainbridge Islanders are blessed to have local organic farmers who are committed to nourishing our community with clean food.

For me, soup season traditionally starts once I have finished canning, pickling, and pressing cider. This seasonal transition helps me move from fall into winter. That means setting aside smoothies and ice cold kombucha to make room for soups and other warming foods.

Fall is the most vulnerable time of year for your health. Between the changing weather and dwindling sunlight, it is like a stress vortex that erodes your constitution. Now is the time to focus on being grounded and present in order to build vitality.

In general, soups conjure the energy of slowing down and connection. A hearty pot of soup simmering on the stove (or in a slow-cooker) fills the house with mouth-watering aromas. Savoring these moments with family and friends nourishes your body AND soul.

I often hear from patients and friends about how difficult it is to find time to cook when their schedules are so jam-packed. When we’re feeling stressed and frazzled, loving nourishment is more vital than ever. That is where soup comes in!

I am sharing one of my favorite fall soups. This is quick, simple, nourishing, and versatile. You can easily switch out the crispy Brussels sprouts topping for a variety of other options including: goat cheese and bacon, roasted red peppers, or pepitas and yogurt.

How you choose to show up for your body and mind shapes how you relate to the world around you and your role in it. Be gentle with yourself and choose wisely.

Winter Squash Soup

  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed

  • 1 kabocha squash, halved and seeds removed

  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced

  • 6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Rub olive oil on the flesh side of the squash and place oiled side down on a baking sheet. Add about a half inch of water to the sheet. Bake for one hour or until squash is very soft and easily squeezed with tender pressure.

While squash cools, sauté the onion in olive oil until it starts to caramelize. Scoop one squash into a blender, add half of the broth, and blend until smooth. Transfer this to a soup pot. Add remaining squash, onions, broth, sea salt, and pepper to the blender and process until smooth. Transfer this to the soup pot.

Gently simmer everything for 20 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more broth (or water). Adjust seasoning accordingly.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

  • 10 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

  • 6 - 8 shiitake mushroom caps, sliced thinly

  • ¼ cup hazelnuts, loosely chopped

  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped

  • Balsamic vinegar

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine all ingredients on a baking sheet or pan. Toss with olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. When slightly crispy, remove everything from the oven and serve hot, scooping your desired amount over the top of each bowl of soup. Serves six.