Some people just cannot stand winter. The dark, the cold, the endless dreary grey skies… They all combine to just be more than these people can manage and so they plan get-aways, go south for the season, or relocate permanently to places where winter never comes.
Not me. Oh, I’ve lived a good portion of my life where winter never comes, but I grew weary of the season-lessness of it all. And I have been very happy to be back in the land of winter these last few years, even if sometimes it seems a little bleak outdoors.
I solve the winter doldrums with a few simple tricks to make it all seem brighter, lighter and better.
First, I pay very close attention to my little feathered friends. I feed the birds, and I don’t just mean I throw out some seed now and again. I make it a point to be the go-to girl for all the abundant feathered wildlife in my little country community.
I have well stocked feeders that are never allowed to go empty. I make suet cakes with fresh suet from the butcher loaded with luscious seeds and nut butters and I hang them all around the house, so I can see birds from every window. My days are full of the sights and sounds of happy feeding birds of all kinds no matter where I chance to look out at the day.
Second, I light candles. On the darkest and coldest days, I keep beautiful beeswax and pure organic oil based essential oil candles burning to brighten my mood and throw some cheerful light into the corners and alcoves around the house. They are so cheerful with their little dancing flames. Just what I need to remind me that there are some joys to the darkness of winter – the coziness of candles on long evenings by a warm wood stove, for example.
Third, I make soups. Not just any soups, but soups based on mineral-rich bone broths. They are creamy hearty and delicious and full of rich buttery flavors. Thick with squashes, carrots, or beans and leafy greens, these soups can be made even more nutritious by adding coconut for essential fatty acids.
The best of these, to my mind, is an over the top butternut squash soup that is so thick and creamy it can almost hold the spoon all by itself, but not quite. Spiced up with ginger that gives it another layer of warmth all its own, it is a whole meal all by itself.
It’s one of the recipes featured in my upcoming new book, and I thought I’d share it with you here as a taste of what’s coming.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1-2 teaspoons dried ginger powder or one 1 inch piece of fresh ginger diced fine
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 3 to 4 cups chicken bone broth
- 1/2 cup raw cream
- 1/2 cup coconut cream concentrate coconut butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Dice the onion to 1/2 inch pieces.
Heat the coconut oil in a 2 -3 quart saucepan over medium high heat until fully melted and bottom of pan is coated.
Add the onion and stir until it is all well heated and beginning to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and continue stirring about two minutes until the onion begins to become translucent.
Add the ginger and continue to stir.
Add one cup of the broth and reduce the heat to low while you peel, de-seed and chop the butternut squash into one inch cubes. Add the squash and enough bone broth to just cover the squash raise heat back to medium.
Simmer, covered, until the squash is soft and cooked.
Uncover and continue to simmer until the squash is very tender. Drain off about half the broth and set aside. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the saucepan. As you puree, add small amounts of the broth back in until you reach the consistency you like. When fully pureed, remove from heat for five minutes. Then gently fold in the cream. Do not return to the heat. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Garnish with fresh sprigs of marjoram, parsley or thyme.
If you have a favorite version of this soup that’s slightly different, I’d love to hear yours!