Something about a warm, hearty bowl of soup just makes me happy … and this soup, full of delicious and comforting Fall flavors, sure did not disappoint! The soup is packed with nutrients from the many veggies I’ve crammed into the recipe, but you won’t even be thinking about the nutrients as you slurp it down! It’s a good one to freeze, as well … just perfect for those nights when you forgot to plan your meal and still want to grab something healthy and delicious. My mom and I made this together a few weekends ago (thanks, Mom!), and I reluctantly ate my last bowl from the freezer this week.
As I said, this dish is loaded with Fall veggies. You’ve probably cooked with – or at least heard of – cauliflower (rich in Vitamins C and B, manganese, and potassium!), kale (one of my all time favorites, and a complete nutritional powerhouse) and butternut squash (another one of my favorites, and loaded with potassium, Vitamin C, and many other antioxidants).
But have you used parsnips (which are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, and many others) or celery root (also called celeriac, it’s literally the root of the celery stalks you usually eat, and is a good source of magnesium, calcium, and many vitamins)? Let’s take a look!
Below, you’ll see a whole parsnip (looks just like a white carrot!), and then me holding a whole celery root. If you can’t find them easily in your grocery store, just ask the grocer – I almost always can track these two down.
Autumn Harvest Soup
Serves 6 (enough for a small meal, or as part of a larger meal)
Don’t be intimidated … you likely have many of these ingredients in your pantry or spice cabinet, and just have to pick up a few veggies! As long as you have the squash base, feel free to make substitutions for whatever veggies you prefer.
- 1 onion (yellow or white), chopped or diced
- 1 parsnip, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 celery root, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 of a medium-sized butternut squash (about 1.5-2 cups), peeled and chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 0.6 lb raw, boneless, skinless chicken breast (this was what was in my small package; feel free to use more or less according to your preference and nutritional needs, or for a vegetarian version just use a whole can of chickpeas to boost the protein a bit)
- 4 cups reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
- 4 cups kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp + a pinch of salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg, dried
- 1 tsp rosemary, dried
- 1 tsp + a pinch of ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken breasts with a pinch of salt and pepper, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until just cooked through. Chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Microwave entire celery root for 3 minutes to soften. Once cool enough to handle, peel (or simply hack off the outer pieces with a knife like I did), and chop roughly. You’ll be pureeing this, so no need to chop nicely.
- Poke 4-5 holes through the skin of the butternut squash (so it doesn’t explode) and microwave for 3 minutes to soften. Once cool enough to handle, peel and chop roughly.
- In a medium-sized skillet, heat olive oil and saute garlic and onion 2-3 minutes. Add chopped celery root and butternut squash, and saute 7-10 more minutes or until softening.
- Meanwhile, chop your cauliflower, zucchini, kale, and parsnip into bite-sized pieces. (Side note: my mom has been so into healthy living lately that she even had a green smoothie taste waiting for me to power me through our cooking session! How nice – and delicious!)
- In a large blender, puree onion, garlic, celery root, squash, and broth until smooth and creamy.
- Combine pureed squash mixture, beans, cauliflower, zucchini, parsnip, chicken, and spices in a very large pot and stir. Add water until soup reaches desired consistency (I started with 2 cups, but may have added a bit more). Bring entire mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, add kale, cover, and simmer for 30-60 minutes (the more you let it cook, the better the flavors blend!).
- You’ll be tempted to take off the lid and stir many times throughout the simmering (we were!) but try to just let it do its thing! Just make sure your cauliflower and parnsips are soft before removing from the heat.
- Ladle soup into six bowls (or freezable Tupperware containers!).
- Dig in and enjoy! My mom ate her portions as a meal, and I combined with other goodies. Here it is as the star of a Fall-themed dinner with a sooo-close-but-still-have-a-few-adjustments-before-I-post-the-recipe Warm Brussels Sprout and Apple Salad, as well as some roasted veggies (of course!).
If made according to this recipe, each serving will have 195 calories, 3g fat, 26g carbs, and 17g protein.
So tell me in the comments … what is your favorite Fall flavor? Do you finish your Fall Reset like me today? Any fun or healthy (or both!) plans for the weekend?