Velvet Squash Soup with Pine Nut Pesto
This golden squash soup loaded with antioxidant vitamins and minerals is gently seasoned to perfection and can be made in practically no time. Served with a flavorful pine nut pesto, this is one elegant and nutritious way to start a harvest feast.
Read the recipe for Velvet Squash Soup with Pine Nut Pesto–as well as the recipes for our four favorite seasonal soups and two other great starters (Healthy Harvest Pate and a Robust Olive-Onion Tapenade)–here.
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 Tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus additional for garnish
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium leek (white part only), split lengthwise, cleaned, and chopped
2 bay leaves
4-inch sprig fresh rosemary
3 to 4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons truffle oil(optional) or additional olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Pine Nut Pesto
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 small clove garlic
1/4 cup filtered water (add a touch more if needed)
2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
1. Toast the pine nuts, a pinch of salt, the coriander seeds, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper until fragrant (2 to 4 minutes) in a dry skillet on medium-low heat.
2. Place the squash, garlic, leek, bay leaves, and rosemary in a stockpot. Add a pinch of salt and just enough water or stock to just cover the ingredients. The soup will be thicker the less water you add. If you want a thinner soup, add more water or stock at the end.
3. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves and rosemary sprig.
4. Meanwhile prepare the Pine Nut Pesto: Using a blender or food processor, combine pine nuts, garlic, water, olive oil, and salt and pulse or blend until smooth. Set aside.
5. Blend the squash in batches until smooth, add the toasted pine nut-spice mixture, miso, olive oil, truffle oil, if using, maple syrup, and vinegar, Season to taste and return to the pot over low heat.
6. Serve warm with a dollop of Pine Nut Pesto and a few grinds of black pepper.
And here are our Four Favorite Seasonal Soups
Other must-trys for starters:
Inspired by The Balanced Plate, by Renee Loux (Rodale Press, 2006).