Sweet Pumpkin Spiced Soup with Apple-Sage Tempeh Croutons

Happy (almost) first day of Fall!  Tomorrow is the start of my favorite season.  Bring on the changing leaves, crisp apples, and everything pumpkin!

Yesterday I spent the whole day in the garden with my dad, preparing it for a fall planting, then actually getting seeds in the ground.  We dug trenches between all the vegetable patches, making ourselves a raised bed garden!  It’s a lot easier than it sounds.  If I was a millionaire, I’d defiantly hire somebody to do that for me.  Oh well, at least I got my crop-fit in for the day. (Anybody see the new subway commercial?!)

After a long day in the garden, this soup was exactly what I needed; energizing and satisfying.  My first pumpkin soup of the season.  I added a sweet potato and carrots for sweetness, and topped it off with crispy apple-sage tempeh croutons.  It doesn’t get more fall than sweet potato, pumpkin, and apples in one dish!

I decided to make tempeh croutons for this soup to add a protein punch, along with a crispy texture. The savory sage and sweet apple flavor pair wonderfully with the pumpkin spices in the soup.  This soup is beyond easy to whip up, and makes a good amount so you can eat it throughout the week. Throw it in a thermos for work and watch everyone drool over the amazing smell when you heat it up for lunch, or make it into a light and seasonal dinner.  In case you haven’t heard, pumpkins and sweet potatoes are extremely healthy for your.  As are carrots, tempeh, and apples.  What I’m trying to say is you will get your daily dose of yummy with this soup, as well as a good helping of fruits and vegetables.

Fall into the season with warm sweet pumpkin spiced soup!

Sweet Pumpkin Spiced Soup

1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin, preferably organic
1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp coconut oil, or olive oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground sage
5-6 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper, to taste

Apple-Sage Tempeh Croutons, for topping
Fresh sage, for topping

1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat and add the onions.  Saute the onions for 5-7 minutes, or until translucent.
2. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, or until fragrant.  Add the sweet potato and carrots.  Saute for a minute or two before adding the vegetable broth and pumpkin.  Add the spices.
3. Bring the soup to a boil before turing it down to a simmer and putting a lid on.  Stir every so often, checking on the softness of the diced vegetables.
4.  After about 30-40 minutes, the sweet potato and carrots should be fork tender.  Using an immersion blender (or food processor), puree the soup so it is smooth.

Apple-Sage Tempeh Croutons

1 8oz block of tempeh, chopped into 1/2″ cubes
1/4 cup apple cider
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp spicy mustard
1/2 tsp ground sage
pinch of salt and pepper

1 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil), for frying
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
coarse sea salt and ground black pepper

1.  Whisk together the apple cider, extra virgin olive oil, mustard, sage, salt, and pepper.  Put the tempeh cubes into a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over them.  Seal the bag and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.  Flip the bag so it sit’s on the other side half-way through the marinading time.
2. Heat the coconut oil on medium-high heat in an non-stick pan.  Add the tempeh and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the edges start to blacken and get crispy.
3. Pour the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar around the edges to de-glaze the pan.
4.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with a generous dose of coarse sea salt and black pepper.

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