Soups are a great way to get a lot of warm, deep energy into our bodies, as well as a ton of healthy minerals and vitamins!
Winter is all about root and downward-growing vegetables, which bring a downward-moving and stabilizing energy into our bodies while rejuvenating the bladder and kidneys – the winter season is associated with the water element and salty flavours which, when in balance, help our body maintain healthy fluid levels throughout the various systems.
I had a beautiful big butternut squash I was saving for the event and decided to pair it with three large onions and four large parsnips for a bitter-sweet delight!
And while the soup itself was certainly yummy enough, the pesto garnish was a welcome addition that added an entirely new layer of flavor to the bowl – I highly recommend taking the extra step to make it.
– 1 large butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed and cut into large chunks
– 3 onions, quartered
– 4 parsnips, cut into large chunks
– 4 tbsp sesame oil
– ½ tsp salt
– 16 cups of water
– 4 tbsp olive oil
– 3 tsp salt
– 1 cup basil
– 1 cup parsley
– juice and zest of 1 lemon
– pinch of salt
– ½ – 1 cup olive oil (to desired consistency)
In a food processor, begin to chop basil, parsley, and mint until it is mostly chopped through.
Add lemon juice, zest, and salt. With food processor running, slowly pour in the oil so it is worked into the pesto evenly and gently – this creates an important emulsifying effect – until desired consistency is reached.
Serve room temperature or chilled – can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. (The pesto will thicken in the fridge, simply add a spoon or two of water to get it viscous again.)
Preheat oven to 425.
Toss squash, onions, and parsnips in sesame oil and ½ tsp salt. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until everything is tender and caramelized.
While the vegetables are roasting, it is a good time to make the pesto!
Heat olive oil in a large pot and add roasted vegetables. Add 2 tsp salt and the water and bring to a boil. Turn down and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Season with additional tsp of salt, more to taste if needed, and serve hot with a drizzle of pesto.