Snow, is that you?
Jack Frost has had his way with fall, yet my kitchen is still brimming with end-of-summer hatch green chilies.
[Hoarder Confessional: While Grant stocked up on firearms (scared for the election), I stockpiled fire-roasted green chilies. Every trip to the market in August was a shameless hoardfest of seasonal chilies.]
But now climate change is telling my appetite to let go of summer, eat my weight in pumpkin and hibernate already.
So I did what any confused kitchen marauder would do: seek and destroy. To cook with my first-of-the-season butternut squash or last-of-the-season green chilies? Debate no more! I destroyed both—in my belly that is. What better way to pay proper salutations to summer and embrace fall.. err.. winter.. than with a vat wholesome spicy harvest soup?
1 part summer + 1 part winter, this seasonal eclipse is HOT—and as my dad used to say—“will put hair on your chest”. Yes, Grant has been eating a lot of this soup.
Velvety and ripe with sweet ember-orange body, this soup radiates feelings of fall and will make your kitchen glow. Conceived at the foot of the Rockies on a stormy night with the help of too-large sweaters and holy snuggle socks, this soup was crafted with intentions to bring people to the table, warm thy innards and make thy nose run. Perfect for a dinner party on a chilly night, you see?
Thinn’s Roasted Butternut Squash Green Chili Soup
Serving size: soup for a week
You pick: ½ lb green chilies for mild soup— 1 lb for wild, light-you-up soup (pick me!)
Preheat oven at 350 degrees > Take a machete (or kitchen knife) to a 6 lb butternut squash and half it lengthwise > Remove guts from squash cavity > Poke holes in the squash rind and massage flesh with water > Dust with paprika and cayenne pepper > Bake ‘flesh up’ ~45 minutes or until you can easily pierce the squash with a knife > Remove tender squash from oven, peel off the stubborn rind and cut flesh into manageable cubes.
Wash, peel and chop 2 medium yellow onions, 2 russet potatoes, 2 carrots, 3 celery stalks and 7-10 cloves of garlic (depending on your affinity for garlic) > In a large stock pot, heat a few lugs of oil > Fire up onions until they’re wilted and brown > Add garlic, potatoes, carrots and celery and cook for ~10 minutes or until veggies caramelize > Add squash and ½ of fire roasted green chilies > Cover vegetables with 1.5 quarts of good quality (or homemade!) chicken or vegetable stock. Hang onto your remaining stock in case your soup is too thick after blending > Drench with ground black pepper > Bring soup to boil, then cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes > Submerge immersion blender into pot and blend soup until smooth like lava > Add remaining ½ pound fire roasted green chiles and finish blending until the green chiles are mixed in to your liking (keep some chilies chunky!) > Top with pepitas > Devour.
Nutrition Facts: Thinn Style
Don’t taste the rainbow—eat it.
Eating an assortment colorful foods is necessary to nourish the body with the full spectrum of pigments with powerful antioxidant effects.
Sites of this beauty will give any sunset a run for its money. What gives this soup its wild orange color is its banks of carotenes—the deeper the color the more carotenes. Carotenes are a phytochemical. In fact, they are one of the most important found in the antiocarcinogenic cocktail provided by fruits and vegetables.
More carotenes=less cancers, and a laundry list of other benefits. Why? Their job is to enhance immune functions. How? They protect the thymus (above the heart, below the thyroid) gland from damage. The thymus gland is extremely susceptible to free-radical damage from stress, infection, drugs, you name it. When the thymus gland is damaged over time, the immune system becomes weak. Production of T lymphocytes (type of white blood cell) is compromised.
Beyond protecting your trusty thymus gland, carotenes bolster the performance of other types of white blood cells, increasing the antiviral and anticancer properties of our immune system.
But a color this deep and powerful doesn’t limit itself to one health benefit—butternut squash also houses vitamin C and B1, folic acid, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium and dietary fiber.
Sorry to get all anatomy on you. Science works. If this isn’t convincing, try it for yourself and let me know the other 100 awesome side effects of this soup I’ve yet to discover. It’s really. that. good.
Let it snow!