We have officially hit winter. Not because there is snow on the ground or because it feels like it is dark ALL DAY LONG. No, I know it is officially winter when my plate of food starts to show more beige. So this post is a series of post that I like to call ‘Colour Your Plate’, where I will be showing you ways to brighten up your meals with natural, good for you items.
The last 3 months have been, well, slightly difficult in our house. Remember when I told you that my husband got pneumonia? Well by that time he had already had it for 3 weeks and was not getting any better. His body was not responding to antibiotics (2 types). The stress of it got worse when the doctor suggested that it could be TB or Cancer and that he was not to go into public places. Way to freak an ex-cancer patient out DOC! For the next several weeks I had to take over all the responsibility in the house, taking care of Little Q and my husband (who was unable to get out of bed most days). It was exhausting. Thankfully I work in a place where the people are completely understanding and willing to be flexible with my schedule to accommodate me taking Little Q to daycare and my husband to many doctor appointments. Finally, my husband has started to heal from this non contagious form of pneumonia without having to go on copious amounts of drugs. We just kept saying ‘roll with it because this too will pass…’ We are happily moving onward and upward!
Soup has been a meal I prepare every Sunday afternoon so we have it ready for the week. It is an easy go to meal when you don’t feel like eating anything else. Winter vegetable in Canada mostly consist of root veggies, squash and dark leafy greens if you can get them. What I love about this soup is that it is bright orange. The colour is absolutely gorgeous! Seriously, look at this colour!!!! How could you not want to eat this?!?! Some of you may not be familiar with fennel and/or scared of it because it tastes like licorice. However, when placed in this soup it is very subtle and adds a lovely flavour that you might not find with typical butternut squash soup recipes. I HIGHLY encourage you to make your own broth. I really like to buy a full high quality, antibiotic free, hormone free chicken, roast the whole thing and then use it for a couple of dinners and lunches. When I’m, done getting all the meat off, I take the bones and boil it with celery, carrots and onion covered in water. Then I divide it up and place in containers to freeze. You have to be careful with the store bought varieties because they often have gluten hiding in them or MSG carefully disguised as yeast extract. It is so easy and cheap to make your own. All it takes is a lazy Sunday afternoon. Don’t get complicated with this soup – just cut the ingredients up in chunks and throw it in a pot, boil, then purée and enjoy!
- 1 Butternut squash, peeled & chunked
- 1 Onion, chunked
- 2 Celery stocks, chunked
- 2 Carrots, chunked
- ½ Fennel, chunked
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp of thyme
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 cups of water (enough to cover all the veggies)
- Place all ingredients in large pot. Boil until everything is tender.
- Puree in high powered blender in batches if necessary.
- Serve with pumpkin seeds or store in glass containers for 2-3 days in the fridge.