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Harvest Soup

It's Soup Season. Actually, it's always soup season for me. I could devote this entire website solely to this mood soothing, sublimely nourishing main course, which is a staple on my menu, each and every week. One of my favorites, which simply goes by, Harvest Soup, boasts a cast of Fall's main attractions. It is also the star of the show at my Thanksgiving (aka, The Cooking Olympics) Dinner Table.

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2 gala apples, cored and cubed

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

2 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed

2 large carrots, peeled and cubed

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

4-5 garlic cloves, minced

Grapeseed oil, for roasting

4-6 cups vegetable stock, prepared

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

pepita seeds, as garnish

salt and pepper, to taste

Serves 4

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Preheat the oven to 465 degrees (don't know why, just my go-to). Dress the apples, squash, potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic with grapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and roast for approximately 30-45 minutes, until well cooked through and lightly browned. Check on the progress a time or two during this round, with a quick stir or two in between. I just make sure my cuts are relatively uniform, to ensure even browning, but it by no means needs to be perfect.

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Once browned and cooked through to your satisfaction, transfer contents to your Ninja, or, place in a medium sized pot right away and blend with an immersion blender. I typically add a little stock to encourage the blending process and depending on the yield, may require a couple of batches to get the job done. After adding the blended ingredients to a medium sized stock pan, set over low heat, slowly incorporate the vegetable stock until you reach the consistency that suits you. For this batch, I used about 4 cups, but I could have easily used a bit more for a thinner consistency, without compromising the caramelized flavors of the roasted vegetables. I prefer a smooth, velvety consistency for this soup, but a chunkier version would be equally appealing and hearty. Or, blend to smooth and finish with some reserved chunks of roasted vegetables as a garnish. Up to you, it's your soup.

To finish, add in the selected spices, drizzle in the maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with pepitas and julienned apple. Enjoy alone or with some wild rice or tri-colored couscous. Not a fan of this sweeter version? Try omitting the syrup and adding in curry powder or cumin. Or, roast the vegetables with some thyme and sage for a more Thanksgiving-esque feel. This is a wonderfully versatile soup that shifts its personality with ease.

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