You’ll love every spoonful of this warm and hearty Gluten Free Maple Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup. Be kind to your body with a bowlful of healthy roasted veggies seasoned with aromatic winter spices.
I know I’m usually quite sarcastic on this little blog of mine. It’s hard for me to avoid since I’m a pretty cynical person at heart. After smiling and acting happy all day for the sake of the people around me, it’s refreshing to come home and unload with some major attitude in my posts.
If you ask my family, they’ll tell you that’s how I’ve always been…a little bit bratty and a whole lot sarcastic. Guess they just have to deal with me, right???
Anyway, today I’m going to set aside the sarcasm and get a little more real with you. I know I joke around saying that I’m OCD or a perfectionist or have a bit of anxiety over certain things. But truth of the matter is, I do.
This past week has been a bit of a struggle for me because my routine was thrown completely out of wack. After having been sick with what I think was the case of the flu, I was pretty much forced to lay low physically for a few days. If anyone knows me, they know that is not an easy task.
I’m usually one that gets up before my children and runs 5-6 miles on a daily basis, as well as attends workout classes a few times a week. In between my personal workout sessions, I am constantly shuffling my kiddos around to various activities, whether they be scheduled extracurricular classes or spontaneous unstructured play dates. Fact of the matter is, I am always busy and moving around.
This week was different.
One day I could hardly get out of bed. The other days, I taught preschool, watched some children for a sick mama friend, and basically trudged through the days until I could go to bed. There was definitely no working out going on around here. And that made me very uncomfortable.
My need for perfection not only applies to my home, my cooking, my children’s behavior, but it also applies to my appearance. I exercise to feel comfortable with how I look. I wish that wasn’t the case. I wish I could say that I love the action of running or the high I feel mastering a difficult physical activity. But in reality, I exercise to look…perfect.
That is exhausting.
But what is more tiring is the mental exhaustion of fixating on the fact that since you temporarily can’t exercise, you are no longer perfect. That’s what the past week has been for me.
And not being able to run or exercise caused me to pay greater attention to what I ate in order to maintain a “healthy” lifestyle. It’s easier to eat a scoop of ice cream when you know you ran 6 miles that morning. Or, I don’t mind eating a mindful portion of a cream based soup when I know I’ve “earned” it through exercise. Sounds ridiculous, I know. It’s something that I need to work on; rewarding my body with the food that it needs/wants regardless of whether or not I feel I’ve deserved it.
But my issues aside, it is comforting to know that when I have days like last week where my physical activity is limited, I can still enjoy flavorful healthy foods that will keep my body functioning and keep my tummy satisfied. Such is the case with this extremely healthy and surprisingly soothing Gluten Free Maple Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup.
Have you ever had the pleasure of enjoying a kabocha squash??? Well, they’re delicious.
They’re kind of a mixture between an acorn squash and a butternut squash. The flavor is more like an acorn squash, but the texture is more like a butternut squash, which makes it perfect for soup. In fact, you can definitely sub a butternut squash for the kabocha in this recipe if you don’t have one on hand. But, for something new, go for the kabocha and fall in love.
This soup is filled with all kinds of yummy veggies that have been roasted in olive oil, pure maple syrup, and warm aromatic seasonings. There is nothing better than maple and cinnamon paired with winter squash.
Once those veggies have roasted and slightly caramelized (which I dare you not to pick at the caramelized syrup on the sheet pan), you toss them into a blender with some vegetable or chicken broth and give it a good puree.
You know me, I always have to add wine to my cooking. I think it elevates the flavor of pretty much every dish. So, I opted to add some white wine and let the pot simmer on the stove to really marry those flavors. And can I tell you that one of my most favorite flavor combos is the pairing of thyme and sage? I don’t know what it is, but the earthiness of those two herbs just makes my heart happy.
You will be surprised with how filling this soup is, especially if you load it with toppings like I do. Of course I had to add an array of mix-ins like candied almonds, pepper jack cheese, croutons, and dried cranberries. You could also sprinkle some crumbled bacon on top for a non vegetarian version. Bacon pretty much makes everything taste better. But I’m also all about those vegetarian nights.
So there you go. As I work on breaking free from my mental fixations, I can at least know I’ve got some “safe” healthy meal options out there for the days I just need to feel healthy. But maybe someday I’ll be okay just eating a donut. What do ya think???
What is your favorite kind of soup?
- 1 kabocha squash, seeded and cut into 8 wedges*
- 1 small onion
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1" chunks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
- 1½-2 teaspoons salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon pepper, divided
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, divided
- 1 quart chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ teaspoon dried crushed sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cut squash in half and remove seeds with a spoon. Cut squash into 8 wedges and set on baking sheet. Peel onion and cut into large chunks. Chop carrots. Place onion and carrots on baking sheet.
- Drizzle olive oil over top. Drizzle 2 tablespoon maple syrup on top. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Massage veggies with hands to evenly coat with seasonings, oil, and syrup. Roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until squash and carrots are tender. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool.
- Transfer veggies into a blender, scraping squash from skin as close as possible to get most of the flesh. Gather any drippings from pan and place in blender. Pour chicken or veggie broth into blender and blend on high until smooth.
- Pour blended mixture into a pot. Add ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, white wine, sage, thyme, and additional tablespoon of maple syrup. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and sweeten to your liking with additional maple syrup.
- Serve soup warm with toppings such as croutons, shredded pepper jack cheese, crumbled bacon (for non vegetarian), and diced avocados.