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February is soup season around here. We try to make soup at least once a week. It’s comforting – and tasty! Plus, leftover soup makes for a great lunch. The soup featured here capitalizes on winter squash. It gets a finishing drizzle of a flavorful citrus-mint pesto. (Click here to see the recipe.)“Topped with a swirl of the citrus-mint pesto, this soup has bright flavors and a silky-smooth texture,” Viviane Bauquet Farre of food & style says of the soup she created.It’s also healthy. Winter squash – which Viviane calls “the kings of winter vegetables” – are an important food source of carotenoids, a key antioxidant. Antioxidants can help protect healthy cells from damage caused by so-called “free radicals” in the body.This soup recipe starts with a white wine reduction, which creates some "wonderful natural sweetness but also brings a bit of tang,” Viviane notes. Squash chunks – butternut squash, kabocha, sugar pumpkin – are added, along with vegetable broth and water.The soup is simmered for about 30 minutes, until the squash is tender. Two tablespoons of orange juice are added, and the squash is puréed with the liquids until “silky smooth.” (Click here to see the recipe.)Our fruity Arbequina oil, meanwhile, would be great for making the citrus-mint pesto, which includes parsley, mint, fennel seeds, orange zest, and pine nuts.The soup can be made three days ahead of time and reheated before serving. It also freezes well for up to a month.Bon appétit,Your Friends  at California Olive Ranch