Butternut Squash just happens to be one of the healthier things you can eat, and this recipe is totally delicious!
I think of this soup as, “Comfort Food to the Max”, because it warms me somehow to the bone and makes me feel awesomely nourished.
This squash is harvested from early fall through winter and can be found at most grocery stores and farmers’ markets. I easily find it at my local organic grocer all year round (remember to always look for organic). It’s very high in fibre, very low in calories but absolutely delicious in taste. It also can prevent a host of ailments and chronic diseases with it’s supercharged anti-oxidants and vitamins and minerals.
(Did you know – It’s actually a ‘fruit’ because it contains seeds?)
Here’s why you want to eat this incredible vegetable:
- Fight cancer and more: Just a little bit of this squash will release the power of beta-carotene. Your body converts this super-nutrient to vitamin A. Just one cup of butternut squash provides nearly five times the USDA’s daily recommended dose of 3,000 IU. Some of the benefits are the power to ward off skin disorders, bone health, Vitamin B6 , age-related vision loss and even leukemia. Butternut squash may also have anti-inflammatory effects because of its high antioxidant content. Incorporating more of this hearty winter staple into your diet could help reduce risk of inflammation-related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
- Reverse smoking damage (but who smokes anyway??): A cancer causing agent in cigarettes creates a vitamin A deficiency that can lead to emphysema, but eating foods rich in vitamin A, like butternut squash can reduce your chances of developing the disease. It appears to help with the formation and maintenance of healthy hair, skin, nails, and scalp and it also helps us with our vision and to see in dim light. In poorer countries where there is a shortage of healthier foods, you will see children with very compromised eyesight and malnourishment would be the culprit. Vitamin A is also necessary for proper and optimal bone growth and tooth development.
- Maintain heart health and more: Fibre and potassium protects against heart disease and high blood pressure. Just one cup of this amazing veggie provides nearly 3 grams of fibre (makes it exceptionally heart-healthy) and more than 10% of the USDA’s daily recommendation potassium (4000 mg). It is also a good source of folate, which has been linked to fewer heart disease deaths in a recent American Journal of Cardiology study and folate also protects against birth defects such as spina bifida.
Butternut Squash Soup
(makes enough for 10+ people)
2 large squash, (cut in half length wise like the picture above) sprinkle the halves with cinnamon
4 tbsp olive oil
2 medium size yellow onions, diced
½ tsp hot chili flakes
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger- must be fresh!!!
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
8 cups of veggie stock
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup coconut milk (more or less to suit your taste)
- Place squash halves in 2 13×9 pans. Spray pans with non-stick spray. Rub the squash with oil and then Sprinkle squash with cinnamon and baked covered with foil for about 45 minutes to one hour. Note: must be soft and mushy when tested. If not done, leave in longer.
- In a stockpot, over medium heat sauté the onions in oil for 5 minutes. Add the chili flakes and sauté for 5 minutes more. Lastly add ginger, garlic, salt and sauté for 2 minutes more.
- When squash is ready in oven, let cool for a bit so you don’t hurt yourself, scoop out the squash. It should very easily be removed from the skin. If not, you didn’t cook it long enough. Add Squash to the stockpot with the sauteed onions and other spices and along with the 8 cups of veggie stock. Simmer for about 15 minutes to allow flavours to combine and deepen. Add the maple syrup.
- Put the soup in a blender and blend until smooth (for me I love it the smoother the better- just like velvet)
- Then add coconut milk after it has simmered. Coconut milk can ‘break’ if boiled and that can hurt the look of your soup.
- Return to the pot and warm again and serve
(that ‘s a drizzle of coconut milk swirled in the centre)
Note: You can freeze this soup and when you don’t have time to cook in the kitchen – you’ll have a quick healthy dinner. Freeze in smaller containers so you can literally put the frozen soup in a pot. (Never use a microwave – a microwave kills food and changes the genetic composition of it)