This vegetable soup is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Incredibly flavourful, full of different textures from celery to butternut squash and warming to the soul. I love my veggie soups like I love my salads - diverse and plentiful.
In the fall and winter, soups are the best way to get a maximum number of nutrients (veggies) in a warm bowl.
Even though I'm still eating a salad most nights for dinner (have you tried my Juicy and Crunchy Kale Salad yet?), I've been loving having soup for lunch. However, last night we had grilled pear and cheese sandwich and soup for dinner. Thought I would mix things up!
As I've probably said before, I learned everything about soup making from Ma McCarthy – she's a pro! Before " bone broth " even became a thing, my mom was making her own stocks and broths. It's just what you did with a leftover chicken or turkey. Common sense, right? But if you don't eat animal foods, you can use a vegetable broth for the base of this soup.
Even though I learned how to make a good soup from my mom, when I studied at George Brown, I learned that a soup is nothing without a good stock. If you don't have homemade stock or broth , then you can likely get homemade stock from your local health food store or butcher shop.
I'm not a fan of the carton or canned stocks. They just aren't fresh and they have too much salt. Many of them even have MSG (often disgused as "yeast extract" and other names) – gross! But many stores will make their own bone broth and sell it frozen or freshly made.
What makes this soup so wonderful is the variety of veggies. There's butternut squash , zucchini, celery, tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and more. I used dried herbs that I always have in my kitchen (you probably have them too) and all the flavours together combined with a really good quality stock made for a wonderful soup that will having you coming back for more.
Vienna was really curious as I was prepping this soup, but unfortunately she couldn't really help me much because I was using a very big, very sharp knife. She brought out her little wooden knife so she could pretend to cut the carrots and celery though.
Whenever I make soup, I am careful not to overcook the veggies. So for this soup, I didn't do it in a slow cooker or crockpot because I didn't want the veggies to be mushy. I wanted them to still have some texture, plus when they have texture, this means they still have a lot of vitamins left too. I'm not too worried about the minerals because the heat will leach them out into the stock which you'll be slurping in the stock!
I called this a Fall Harvest Soup because the squash is really the hero of this soup and it's a total fall veggie. But if we are being literal here, zucchini is technically a summer squash. Mind you, I've been buying zucchini at my local farmer's market.
Like many of my recipes on the blog, this recipe is gluten-free (that is, if you don't eat it with a crusty sourdough baguette - he he he), dairy-free, plant-based, paleo and full of flavour.
Because healthy should be delicious, right?!?
If you don't have butternut squash handy, don't sweat it. Sweet potato would be the perfect swap. Don't have celery on hand? Double the carrots. This soup can work many ways. The more variety of veggies you include, the more flavour you'll have. Phytonutrients are the plant chemicals that give plants their taste, so that's why more diverse veggies is a good thing!
Serves 6 - 8.
And yes, you can most certainly make this in a crockpot or slow cooker, I just wouldn't cook it in there all day - it will turn into a sloppy mushy soup. Not what you want!
If you've got a little one who can't chew much yet, you could toss all these ingedients into a blender and then serve this as a super delicious nutrient-dense puree. It's important when raising healthy eaters to introduce them to lots of flavours. I've got a whole post on food introduction if you're at that life stage with a little one in your family.
This soup is packed with fibre for digestive health , antioxidants for disease prevention, immune boosting nutrients from the broth, butternut squash and carrots. Honestly, it's the PERFECT FALL SOUP!
I really enjoyed putting together this soup recipe to share with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did.
Joyous health to you!