This classic gives you latitude to mix and match carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes - whatever orange roots, squash, and spuds you have on hand. A little coconut milk, a crunchy nut topping, some spicy harissa swirled in...make a big pot because this one always disappears fast.
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
6 cups peeled, chopped orange vegetables—any combination of carrot, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash you like (about 2½ pounds total chopped)
One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk, preferably full-fat
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
½ cup shelled sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Honey Harissa (page 37 or store-bought), for serving
1. Make the soup: Heat the oil in a large (at least 4-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden and slightly softened, 8 to 9 minutes. Add the orange vegetables and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, 1¾ cups (one filled empty can’s worth) water, honey, salt, and turmeric; bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly, transfer to a blender (or use an immersion blender or food processor), and puree until smooth, 30 seconds.
2. Make the topping: Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds and cook, stirring, until they begin to turn golden and a few crackle or pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide the soup among bowls, swirl each bowl with harissa, and garnish with the seeds. Extra topping will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.