This full-bodied, silky-smooth soup is sweet, with a tiny bit of tartness from the apple, a hint of spice, and just the right amount of creaminess. Cooking orange vegetables actually makes the carotenoids more available for use by the body. This recipe does require chopping a lot of vegetables, but it’s easy because the pieces are chunks rather than fine dice. Crunchy pumpkin seed brittle is the perfect garnish, and one you’ll want to repeat in other recipes. Of course, I put a swirl of sriracha sauce on my serving, because that’s just the kind of girl I am.

Ingredients:

2 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes

2 cups peeled, cubed winter squash

2 cups peeled, sliced carrots

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chunked

3 cups vegetable broth

¼ tsp. nutmeg

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

2 cups plain unsweetened nondairy milk

Salt to taste

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

2 tsp. maple syrup

Pinch of salt

Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

1. In a large soup pot, combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, apple, vegetable broth, nutmeg, and cayenne.

2. Bring the soup to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are totally tender (about ½ hour).

3. Add the nondairy milk and blend the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth. Taste for salt. The amount of salt you add will depend on the saltiness of the vegetable broth. You can instead blend the soup in batches in your regular blender, but immersion blenders are very inexpensive and indispensable, so maybe it’s time to add one to your kitchen armamentarium.

4. While the soup reheats and simmers, combine the pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, and salt and cook for 5 to 8 minutes on low heat in a small skillet sprayed with nonstick spray, until just beginning to brown. Transfer the seeds to a small plate sprayed with nonstick spray and spread them out to cool.

5. Garnish individual servings with the cooled seeds.