Rainfall day after day, hour after hour. Sporadic pauses, a glimpse of the sun exposed by fast-moving storm clouds, lungs filled with damp fall air, leaves scattered on black pavement -- these things hold us fast in the present, they keep us from being washed away with the remnants of summer. They hold in tact the hope of a new season, one gilded with evenings spent curled up with a favorite book, a bowl of warm soup in hand, a beloved within reach.
The rhythm of drops spattering on the windowsill returns. Any movement made during their lull ceases. Settling back into the embrace of an old couch, pulling the blanket closer, we allow the hushed melancholy to creep back carefully to our side.
Though restless, we accept the gift of quiet and rest. We receive space to allow sadness lodged deep within us to rise to the surface.
And we wait. We wait for the sun, wait to skip about in the fallen leaves, to pluck apples from fruit-burdened trees, to sip hot cider while watching the sun sink into its sleeping quarters. Until then, we wrap ourselves in knit blankets and spoon soul-southing soup from a favorite bowl until we are full and satisfied.
Miso and Ginger Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (olive will work as well, but use lower heat)
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Large butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cubed
- 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (plain paprika is fine)
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2-3 tablespoons white miso (start with two, add a third if you would like more flavor)
- 2-3 tablespoons tahini (start with two, add a third if the soup needs to be thickened a bit)
- 1/2 can coconut milk, several tablespoons cream reserved for topping
- 2 cups kale or other greens (torn or chopped into bite sized pieces)
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling
- Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add onions and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, sauteing for 2-3 minutes longer. Add cubed butternut squash and spices. Stir together, cover, and saute for 10 - 15 minutes until squash has begun to soften slightly.
- Add vegetable stock. Cover again, cooking until squash has softened. This will take another 10-15 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon or ladle, scoop squash and onion into food processor. Process until smooth. You may need to do this in two steps. Stir squash puree back into broth.
- Add coconut milk and chopped kale (or spinach or collards), stir, and cover with lid. Over low heat, allow greens to wilt for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with extra coconut cream and black pepper. Dish it out, breathe deep, enjoy.