Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Pomegranate Arils

Here is a flavorful and colorful soup that is packed with vitamin A and antioxidants. The soup will be spicier the more chili seeds are left in, but the pomegranate arils balance it nicely if you’re feeling bold! ūüĆ∂

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Pomegranate Arils 

1 medium butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
Dash of salt
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups vegetable broth
¬ľ cup raw cashews
2 dried red chili peppers
2 cups vegetable broth
¬ĺ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple syrup
¬ľ teaspoon cayenne
Black pepper to taste
Cilantro, to garnish
Pomegranate arils, to garnish

1. Heat oven to 400¬ļ F. Cut squash into quarters. Cover with 2 tablespoons olive oil and dash of salt. Add to half sheet tray and roast for 30-40 minutes or until squash is soft.
2. Dice the onion and roughly mince the garlic. Gently heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion becomes translucent.
3. Once squash is done roasting, scoop out the flesh and add to Vitamix along with saut√©ed onion and garlic, 3 cups of vegetable broth, ¬ľ cup raw cashews and 2 dried red chili peppers (the more seeds left in, the spicier it will be). Mix on high for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add mixture to a large sauce  pan along with 2 extra cups of vegetable broth, salt, maple syrup, cayenne and black pepper.
5. To serve, garnish with chopped cilantro and pomegranate arils.