Homemade Winter Squash Soup Recipe

Winter is here, and with it comes the season of soup. I love soup like I love an oversized scarf. It’s cozy, it’s warming, and if you do it right, it’s totally healthy and pretty much totally acceptable to eat in mass quantities.

I recently attended a winter hibernation workshop (yes, seriously, it was incredible), and my acupuncturist, Amanda Valenti, made a pumpkin soup that knocked my socks off. According to Amanda and the wisdom of Chinese medicine, this soup is good for you in many ways: it moistens the lungs and large intestine, improves digestion, warms hands and feet during winter season. Also: it’s flippin’ delicious.

I modified the recipe a bit, added a box of organic pumpkin soup to increase the volume and ensure plentiful leftovers, and went a little wild with the toppings. I highly encourage getting weird with the toppings. I even added a dollop of lentils and peas once. We’ve been slurping on this soup ever since, and you oughta make yourself a batch:

Homemade Winter Squash Soup Ingredients

  • 1 bag of organic chopped butternut squash from the produce section, or a regular ‘ole whole butter nut squash, peeled.
    Note: Making this at camp, or cooking in a rush? I recently tried Straight From The Root pre-cooked organic vegetables, and they’re the jam. If you’re feeling crazy, toss in a few of their roasted carrots too.
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 piece of peeled fresh ginger (about 1.5 inches), minced
  • A dash of cinnamon, or a few cloves.
  • 1 box (32 oz) of organic vegetable broth
  • 1 box (32 oz) of organic pumpkin soup
  • 2 tablespoons oil (we use sunflower)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional toppings: sunflower + pumpkin seeds, crispy kale, sunflower seed sprouts (pictured), freshly chopped cilantro, a splash of crema, whatever floats your boat.

Soup Makin’ Directions

  1. Peel ginger. Chop garlic, onion, and ginger.
  2. Combine butternut squash, cinnamon/clove, and vegetable broth in a pot. Bring the mixture to a bubbly boil, then simmer on low for 20 minutes (10 minutes if you’re only using pre-cooked squash from The Root).
  3. Toss in the onion, garlic, and ginger. Continue simmering until the onions are squishy.
  4. If you had cloves, remove them.
  5. Combine mixture, almond milk, and box of pumpkin soup using a hand mixer, Vitamix, however you blend things.
  6. Top with crunchy, crisp, refreshing edible hipster decor. Enjoy.

Are you as obsessed with this soup as I am? Send your undying gratitude (and requests for acupuncture appointments) to Amanda at The Little Wellness Place, and follow her IG! If you’re local to SLC, come check out one of their monthly workshops + events with me! Otherwise, slurp away and stay warm.

Disclosure: This is a totally un-sponsored post. I’m just low-key obsessed with Amanda, her cooking skills, her acupuncture magic, and all of the wonderful women at Little Wellness Place.

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How to make easy pumpkin pie pancakes

It is the season of feasting, and what better seasonal ingredient to overdose on than pumpkin? Our household cranks out pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it was only time before we started spicing up the mix – with pumpkin, of course.

I recently stumbled across this blog post on Cait’s Plate about a sinisterly simple way to transform your pancakes into pumpkin permeated treats, and my housemate Hannah and I immediately became smitten with the idea of pumpkin spiced pancakes. It really is all too easy; all we had to buy was a can of pumpkin.

So here’s the not-so-secret recipe for adding a little seasonal spice to your breakfast routine. You make your pancake mix like always; any mix will do. We got a nicer brand, simply because according to Hannah, “pancake mix is one of the places in life where you don’t go for the cheaper brand.” – I can stand by that!

Once you’ve got your pancake mix ready to go, the fun comes in. We eyeballed the canned pumpkin addition, but about 1/3 of the can seems suitable. Just plop a heap of that orange goodness into your mix, stir it in, and taste. Spices are definitely your friend for this little cookout – don’t be shy with the seasoning!

Whip it all together, season your batter to taste (we like a lot of nutmeg), then you’re ready to pour your liquid gold onto a frying pan and watch it fluff up into a perfect pancake. I’m not the most skilled pancake attendant, but I did manage to make one pancake in the shape of a mouse. I’m pretty proud of it.

This simple fall-flavored breakfast treat couldn’t be easier to make, which instantly qualifies it as a new favorite. Grab yourself a can of pumpkin, experiment a bit with different spices and tastes, and dig in.

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Meet Lumpkin, the Ageless Pumpkin from Chattanooga

To celebrate my 22nd birthday in October, Niko and I adventured off to Chattanooga for a weekend of exploring, local eats and even a little climbing. We visited the Tennessee Aquarium, strolled the streets of downtown and spent a few hours at my favorite crag, Little Rock City.

The most lasting impression was made by a small, plump vegetable gifted to me by Niko at the Chattanooga State Farmers Market. Our trip occurred during the peak of autumn, so naturally I insisted on getting a pumpkin souvenir to commemorate my travels to a destination that experiences marked seasons.  I picked him out from a pile housing dozens of pumpkins. His perfectly round body and firm stem made him a perfect choice. He earned the name ‘Lumpkin’ during our drive back to Tallahassee, where we passed a ghost town bearing the appropriate name.

Months passed, and I sadly watched as pumpkins perched on doorsteps throughout Tallahassee became soggy with mold and were carelessly slumped into the trash. I refused to carve my darling Lumpkin, but considered painting him gold and dipping him in glitter a few times.

Lumpkin has traveled from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Tallahassee, Florida, and even made two trips to Miami, Florida for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. He’s a natural adventurer.

Today, little Lumpkin remains firm and hearty as ever. He bears a single little mark, where it appears that a fingernail pierced his thick hide, but his wound is entirely healed over and shows no signs of infection or impending pumpkin demise. It has been three months since I acquired my little vegetable buddy, and I reckon that it’ll be a few more before I am forced to abandon my prize to the inevitable decomposition that awaits him.

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