Los Angeles doesn’t really have a ‘winter.’ As I sit to write this, the temperature outside is a balmy 75 degrees. So, making soup isn’t always first and foremost on my mind. However, I really wanted to make this dish from Shelley Whizin, as I saw her make it on the Melissa’s Produce YouTube channel late last year.
It was such a treat to be able to watch her make this and a few other recipes. Shelley is the author of What Do You Bring To The Table. She uses food as an analogy to what is brought to the table of life, inspiring a greater self-awareness as to what feeds the body, mind, and heart. Her thoughtful insights guide readers to discover their essence as a practice for happy mindfulness while cooking. As someone training to be a Reiki master, her philosophy really resonates with me!
Shelley is a multi-faceted woman, who is the founder of The Soul Diving Institute in Sherman Oaks, California. Her programs and teachings focus on the art and science of BEing human through explorative processes called Soul-Diving™. She is also a philanthropist, teacher, speaker, and innovative creator of programs that enhance and elevate individuals to increasing their Joy Factor© in daily life and living. She guides, coaches and teaches individuals how to bring love, honor, and dignity into everything they do, including cooking.
This is a gorgeous dish she calls “Butternut Squash Ginger Carrot Instinct Soup.” Want to know what the “Instinct” is? According to Shelley, “My recipes allow room for adding “instinct” inspired ingredients to the recipes, which I call “Instinct Cooking”. This hearty soup will surely be a fall to winter favorite.
And BONUS….I learned about a new cooking tool, which is actually an OLD cooking tool. She showed us what a spurtle was. Just saying the name is super fun! According to Wikipedia; The spurtle is a wooden Scottish kitchen tool, dating from the fifteenth century, that is used to stir porridge, soups, stews and broths.
The rod-like shape means that porridge can be stirred without congealing and forming lumps, unlike a spoon that would have a dragging effect during stirring, and the low surface area reduces the chances of porridge sticking to the instrument.
Spurtles are made from wood, including beech, cherry wood, and maple. They come in a range of sizes. Traditional spurtles have stylized thistles at the top, while modern ones often have a smooth taper.
The custom is that a spurtle should be used to stir in a clockwise direction with the right hand. I’m left-handed, but I’m gonna get one, just because it’s fun!
If you enjoy a sweeter soup, this is for you! Full disclosure-there’s one ingredient I left out, as I’m not a huge maple-flavor fan, outside of putting syrup on my waffles and pancakes. I’m including it here for you, as this is her original recipe. The soup was fantastic without it! Enjoy….
Butternut Squash "Instinct" Soup
- 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion or 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 thumb of ginger, peeled, grated or chopped
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp mild yellow curry powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 lbs butternut squash, chopped
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 apples, cubed into 1" pieces
- 1 32-oz container or vegetable or chicken stock
- 3 tbs better than bouillon chicken or vegetable
- 1/4 C maple syrup
- 1/2 C squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Cilantro, as garnish
- Chop all ingredients.
- In a large soup pot, warm olive oil and butter over medium heat until simmering.
- Add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, curry, turmeric, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened and starting to turn golden on the edges (about 3-4 minutes) and you can smell the fragrance. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot. Per Shelley..."Dont forget to SMELL everything cooking, that's half the fun!"
- Add the squash, ,carrots, potato and apples to the pot.
- Stir all of the vegetables and let cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add organic broth, making sure all the vegetables are covered. Bring just to a boil, then turn the burner down to medium.
- Add the maple syrup, orange juice and reduce heat to low.
- Cover pot and simmer 25 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.
- Transfer half (or however much your instincts tell you) of the soup to a blender leaving some of the vegetables pieces in the pot. (I kept everything in the pot and used an immersion blender. Just sayin')
- Blend until smooth.
- Return the blended mixture to the pot and mix any remaining stock to attain desired taste and consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve, adding cilantro and pumpkin seeds as garnish.