Recipes, Photography, Musings

Pick-Me-Up Winter Soup

This bright, mineral-rich soup is full of flavor and full of nutrients to help your body feel its best.  Roasted acorn squash, carrots, celery, and onion are simmered and pureed, along with hints of spices such as curry, ginger, nutmeg, and a dash of chipotle.  Topped with a few roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, this winter pick-me-up soup is warming, super-nourishing, and inspiring.

The color orange has always been fascinating to me, and it is a color that traditionally symbolizes joy, vitality and creativity.  Now that we are right in the middle of winter, with frigid temperatures and snow in the forecast, I felt the need for an extra boost of vitality today.  With it being so cold outside, a salad just didn’t sound good, but a warm, bright soup full of vegetables and spices hit the spot.  At least for now, it has banished my sluggishness!

winter soup 1792aThis recipe is adapted from lots of different recipes for similar soups.  I enjoy experimenting with the spices in pureed vegetable soups, and I encourage you to do the same, if you make this soup, because everybody has a different palate when it comes to spices.  I really like the balance in this recipe, because it is subtle and lets the brightness of the vegetables really shine.

I stopped in our local coffee shop recently, and saw that they were preparing carrot soup to sell.  It sounded so good, just exactly what my body needed, and I could not get it out of my mind until I made some.  So I am sharing my version, though I really want to try the coffee shop’s version as well, because I have no doubt that it will be delicious too.

winter soup with bowlsIn the winter, with the decrease in sunlight and the colder temperatures, it is normal to feel a bit sluggish, a bit more blue than usual.  There are lots of ways to balance out the winter blues, and food is just one of them.  With orange being at the opposite end of the color wheel from blue, I find that orange helps bring balance during the months when we don’t get as much natural sunlight.  Maybe that’s why I am so drawn to this soup right now.  In any case, it is delicious and nutritious, and I used the acorn squash that has been sitting on our counter for awhile!

I went back to yoga this week, for the first time in awhile.  Getting that energy flowing up and down one’s spine is another way to feel revitalized!  I hope you all have a great weekend, and stay warm and healthy!

This soup is perfect for a light dinner or a revitalizing lunch.  Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for a good few days, so once you make it, you can pull it out and warm it up as needed.  I am sharing this recipes over at Angie’s virtual potluck Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.vegetablesacorn squash

Pick-Me-Up Winter Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
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  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups of carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1/2 of a large onion, finely sliced
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • a dash or two of ground chipotle/sea salt blend to taste
  • roasted, salted pumpkin seeds


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut the acorn squash in half length-wise.  Lightly butter the flesh edges of the squash and place flesh-side down on a shallow baking dish.  Bake in your 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Meanwhile, chop the carrots, celery, and onion, and mince the garlic.  In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the sliced onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer), water, and carrots, and spices, and bring to a boil.  Then lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

When the squash is done, pull it out of the oven and allow it to cool a bit.  When it is cool enough to work with, scoop the tender flesh out of the skins and add the squash to the pot of simmering soup, allowing it to simmer with the other vegetables and spices.

When all the vegetables are tender, let the soup cool for a few minutes.  Then, carefully transfer the soup, in batches, to the blender and puree.  After each batch, pour the pureed soup into a large glass bowl or another large pot.  Test for taste, and adjust the seasonings if desired.  When all the soup is pureed, serve it warm and topped with roasted pumpkin seeds.  Sour cream would also be delicious on top. Enjoy!


  1. Amanda | What’s Cooking

    This soup looks perfect right now, Jenny. I do think the vibrant orange lends a pick-me-up. I just started yoga for the first time ever. I have YouTube and bought a mat and i do it at home. I look forward to it every day! It’s a game changer. Afterwards, soup like this is just what I need. Be well! Stave off those blues!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Amanda! Glad you are enjoying yoga. I am amazed at all the great YouTube yoga options out there! Stay warm and I hope you are doing well! xoxo

  2. Karen

    While we don’t have frigid temperatures here in Florida, I would still enjoy a bowl of your soup.

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Karen! I think it would taste great in any temperature. Enjoy some mild weather for me! 🙂

  3. Monika

    This lightly spiced soup sounds really delicious, thank you for sharing it with FF:)

    • Jenny

      Thanks, Monika, and thank you for co-hosting Fiesta Friday this week!

  4. Sheryl

    This sounds like a recipe I’d enjoy. One of my favorite winter soups is a hubbard squash soup.

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Sheryl. I have never tried a hubbard squash. I bet I would enjoy it in a soup too though. There is something about squash soups with spices that is so warming and comforting.

  5. Life Diet Health

    Jenny this sounds so delicious! I could almost taste it as I read your post! I’m guessing any squash would work- we tend to have butternut squash a lot over here. Thanks so much for linking up and sharing at Fiesta Friday this week, I hope you’ve found some inspiration at this weeks party! Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  6. ainfanti15

    This soup looks beautiful. Perfect for a cold Canadian winter especially this year!

    • Jenny

      Thank you very much! Yes, it has been really cold and snowy here in Michigan this week too! Definite soup weather! 🙂

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