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Ready for Fall Healthy Soup Recipes

Fall Soup Season has arrived!

Toronto has turned to Fall very quickly this year and that means it is time to embrace delicious, comforting, and healthy soups.
These are two of my personal favourite recipes that are tried and true for healthy Fall soups. I make each soup a couple times every fall season. The first two recipes are from a favourite website crunchyradish.squarespace.com and are vegetarian and gluten free.
roasted-squash-and-pear-soup

Roasted Squash and Caramelized Pear Soup

  • 1 medium squash (butternut is preferred, red kuri pictured)
  • 1 pear- chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil-melted or olive oil
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red or yellow onion- halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Optional garnishes:

  • Toasted chopped pistachio
  • Plain reduced fat yogurt
  • Fresh dill
  • Spicy sunflower seeds (pictured)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and cut each half into thirds. Put the pieces on a large roasting pan. Toss with 1 tbsp of coconut oil and ½ tbsp paprika. On a separate baking sheet, toss pear with ½ tbsp of coconut oil and 1 tsp paprika. Season both the squash and the pear with a pinch salt. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Toss both squash and pear half way through cooking.

While the squash and pear cook, place ½ tbsp olive oil in a pan and add onions. Cook for about 10 minutes until onions are caramelized.

Once the squash and pear are cooked and cooled, scrape the flesh of the squash away from the skins.

In a large soup pot, add vegetable stock, pear, caramelized onion, and squash. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn heat off and cool slightly. Puree soup in either a high-speed blender or with a hand held immersion blender. Serve as is or with a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkling of dill, toasted chopped nuts, and freshly ground pepper.

 

If you are looking to entertain guests this fall then here is a recipe to finally incorporate the acorn squash you keep seeing in the grocery stores. This salad pairs great with the roasted squash soup or as a lighter thanksgiving side. It is a little involved for a salad recipe but trust me, the spicy sunflower seeds will impress and you can pass on making the dressing and just use balsamic and oil.
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Autumn Salad with Roasted Squash, Cranberries, and Spicy Sunflower Seeds

Roasted Squash

  • 1 small acorn squash- cut in half, seeds scooped, sliced width-wise to create half moons
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Coat squash with coconut oil, maple syrup, and black pepper in a bowl. Spread squash slices out on sheet pans and roast until golden and caramelized, around 45 minutes.

 

Spicy Sunflower Seeds

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp harissa spice blend
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Mix together coconut oil, harissa, and maple syrup in a bowl. Toss seeds in oil and spice mixture to evenly coat. Turn down oven to 350°F. Using one of the same sheet pans from the squash, spread seeds out evenly. Roast for 10 minutes, tossing with a wooden spoon half way through cooking. (This will likely produce more spiced seeds then you need for the salad. You will not be mad to have leftovers.)

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Whisk all ingredients together.

Salad

  • 4 cups mixed seasonal greens (I used mizuna, arugula, red mustard)
  • 1/4 cup apple juice sweetened dried cranberries
  • 4 oz truffled semi soft cheese crumbled- I prefer Sottocenere, an ash rind cow’s milk cheese from Italy flecked with truffles (optional)

To assemble:

Toss salad greens with 3/4 of the lemon poppy seed dressing. Arrange sliced squash over greens. Scatter the cranberries, sunflower seeds, and cheese over greens and squash. Top with the remaining dressing.

For the  heartier soup lovers here is a soup I make with sweet/or spicy italian sausage. I substitute the lentils for israeli couscous or Italian pearl pasta. This recipe is from Martha Stewart (http://www.marthastewart.com/341748/sausage-lentil-and-kale-soup)  and will make a good family portion.
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Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 celery stalks (with leafy tops), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced medium
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch (about 1/2 pound) kale, preferably Tuscan, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add celery and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add lentils, broth, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer, partially cover, and cook until lentils and vegetables are tender, 25 minutes.

  2. Add kale and season with salt. Return soup to a rapid simmer, cover, and cook until kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove soup from heat, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.

Have fun trying out new recipes this season! Wishing you all a healthy, warm and tasty Autumn!
Author: Lauren Smith, B.Sc., Physiotherapy Assistant

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