Roasted butternut squash soup w/ wild oregano & kale chips

Sometimes inspiration for a recipe comes from the most unexpected things in life. This weekend I visited the Noordermarkt, a well-known farmers market in Amsterdam. I stumbled upon wild oregano and purple kale. While I took the train home, I started day dreaming about what to make with it. And I ended up with pumpkin soup. Makes total sense right? ;)

Anyhow, I thought the kale and oregano would be nice toppings for a soup, and what better soup to make in September than squash soup. Since it's pumpkin season and all. Totally psyched about that by the way. Can't wait to make so many things with pumpkin. I am thinking pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie ice cream (why not?), pumpkin latte, pumpkin pancakes, or pumpkin curry. But first, soup.

I don't like to brag about my recipes, but this one is a real winner. It is creamy (yet without cream), warming, well-seasoned, and super good for you! I was really surprised the oregano worked in this soup. I normally sprinkle this herb over Italian dishes, but this goes perfectly too. If you can't find wild oregano, just use the regular version. And those kale chips are absolutely optional of course. You can also sprinkle some roasted pepitas on top instead and stir in some greek yoghurt for example. It's totally up to you!

On a different note, did you see I have a workshop coming up? My first one actually! It's about how to write a food blog. This course will be taught in Dutch, but i'd love to host a workshop for English bloggers in the future too.

But first this. Read more on how you can sign up here. I am so excited! Also, the weather here is really beautiful at the moment. I love me some Indian Summer. I hope it's the same over where you live. Enjoy these lovely days of fall y'all!

Roasted butternut squash soup with turmeric, wild oregano & kale chips

(serves 4 persons)

You need:

For the soup

1 butternut squash
1 carrot, cut in slices
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 inch/2.5 cm ginger, peeled and minced
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 oregano sprigs
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp maple syrup
4 cups vegetable stock
A dash of ground nutmeg
Ghee or coconut oil
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

For the kale chips

A bunch of kale, torn in bite-size pieces
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup
sea salt

How to make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C. Cut the squash in half, length-wise. Scoop out the seeds.

2. Place both halves on a baking sheet and fill each cavity with 2 cloves of garlic and 1 sprig of oregano.  Drizzle the butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

3. Carefully turn around the halves, making sure the stuffing remains in place. Roast for about an hour, until soft and caramelized. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Up the temperature of the oven to 400 F/200 C.

4. Place a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat. Saute onion in some coconut oil or ghee. Add the ginger and carrot. Stir. Scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash and add to the pot together with two cloves of garlic. Add the turmeric and maple syrup. Stir well. Let the mixture caramelize a bit, but keep an eye on it.

5. After a few minutes, add the stock to the pan and stir. Lower the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

6. Make the kale chips. Sprinkle the pieces of kale with olive oil, maple syrup and sea salt. Massage and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes. They tend to burn quickly, so don't lose sight of them. Remove and leave to cool.

7. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add the nutmeg and stir. Taste and add salt & pepper if needed.

8. Pour the soup into bowls and top with the kale chips and some oregano leaves. Enjoy!