The last winter soup…

Posted on March 26, 2013

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Yes, I know that a calendar is telling us it’s spring. Yes, we’re all ready for warmth. But forgive me for admitting that for some of us, it doesn’t feel like spring yet…and in the meantime, I want to savor winter flavors just a bit longer by sharing this recipe with you.

This soup has been perfected over the years…I used to roast the butternut squash–40 min or so before the soup simmering even began…but then I felt that the flavors needed enhancement…this way was suggested to me by my genius undercover chef aunt–that of reducing the squash and capturing all of it’s flavor through the use of a single pot–brilliant! Better suited for my cooking habits indeed.

I made a dairy-free option for a pal very easily, so I’ll note the places where the recipe would be different below… A few weeks back when I was craving this soup (and soups in general), I came across an article which was fascinating to me and sheds light on the nutritional intelligence we often possess without realizing it…our bodies want what our bodies need…

(Yes even when it’s fries… just channel the need for fats towards healthier ones, like coconut oil/milk, avocados, etc).

…The article talked about how in the winter we crave soups for the needed moisture that our bodies are lacking–and dense, nutritious soups (like these offered here) are a fantastic way for quick warmth and oh-so-important cold-weather sustenance. Additionally, the spices are crucial. I added tumeric and cinnamon (just a hint) to this soup, in part because of their known powers–Tumeric as an anti-inflammatory, powerful anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer  powerhouse. Cinnamon, fascinatingly enough, as a blood-sugar stabilizer (for all those with glucose issues), among other things.

Butternut Squash Soup

Olive oil (about 1/4 cup) or butter if you’re going non non-dairy

1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

1 quart vegetable stock or water

½ tsp coarse sea salt

¼ freshly ground pepper, preferably white

2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2  tsp tumeric

1/2-1c heavy cream

Warm oil in a large saucepan on medium heat–this will be where it all happens, so make sure it’s big enough.

Cook squash down, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or more—add onions and spices as you go (in my case, when I have time between toddler breaks). It’s like a reduction of squash. Expect this lovely rich mixture to just simmer for close to an hr, adding the broth once the squash is soft enough to, well, squash. Ha.

Use an immersion blender to puree your squash soup, taste to ensure you’re happy with the balance of spices (remember, I truly don’t measure things when I cook most of the time, so some of this is a best guess…whoops…). If you’re doing dairy, then add the cream at the end.

Garnish with some combination of the following:

*Greek yogurt (plain) or sour cream

*Pine nuts lightly toasted, or blanched/toasted almonds

*Roasted cauliflower

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Posted in: Non-Dairy, Soups