Friday, December 12, 2014

Better Butternut Squash Soup #wintersquash #GardenCuizine #JerseyFresh

Better Butternut Squash Soup
I've been recently testing and tasting recipes for our first outpatient dietitian hospital cooking class at Inspira Health Network. The class - "Soup's On" - featured nutritious butternut squash soup. My recipe uses soy milk so that anyone who is lactose intolerant can enjoy it too. Heavy, calorie-laden cream is not needed to make delicious cream soups.

A quick Google search will reveal a variety of ways to make butternut squash soup. I posted a recipe years ago using cinnamon and vanilla soy milk. Back then, I may have used "vanilla" soy milk because that was all we had in the house at the time. This version tasted even better with added curry, fresh ginger root and plain, versus vanilla, soy milk.

And, for those who tell me that they can't afford to eat healthy: the soup cost only about 58 cents per cup - more evidence that you can Cook Healthy on a Budget!

Yields 3 quarts - note: freezes well

one 2 to 3 pound butternut squash OR 2 bags (16 oz. chopped frozen butternut squash)

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1/8 teaspoon (tsp.) minced dried hot peppers from your garden (or hot pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon no salt butter (or vegetable oil)
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger root (or one cube of frozen ginger*)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch fresh grated black pepper
2 cups low fat chicken broth (or water)
1 quart plain soy milk (or 2% milk)
Putting it all together
Step 1

Decide how you want to cook the squash. 
Wash hands. 
If roasting squash: Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.
Wash vegetables
Prep onions, celery and carrots: peel and chop - set aside.

Step 2
  • Prep squash: cut ends off both sides. 
  • If sauteing directly in the soup pot: cut in half across the middle and peel skin; cut each piece lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut into cubes. OR for convenience use precut, frozen butternut squash.
  • If baking: Cut in half across the middle; cut again so there are 4 pieces. Rub olive oil on cut sides of squash. Place squash cut side down on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 deg. F. until soft (about 30 minutes); remove from oven - scoop out seeds. Return to oven and continue baking until squash is full cooked and the edges show caramelizing and a little browning.
Step 3
  • In stockpot saute chopped veggies in 1 T butter or oil for 10 minutes
  • Stir in hot pepper flakes
  • Stir in remaining seasonings
  • Add 2 cups broth OR water and bay leaf. Cover, simmer and cook until veggies are soft
Step 4
  • Remove bay leaf
  • Stir in milk
  • Puree in blender or with hand-held immersion blender
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed
Enjoy with a few homemade whole grain herb pita chips

Buon Appetito! 

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Butternut Squash Soup: 1 cup soup
Excellent Source: Vitamin A, Vitamin C
Good Source: Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Folate, B12, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium

Calories: 111; total fat: 3g; Sodium 246mg (10%DV); total Carbohydrate: 20g; dietary Fiber: 1g (4%DV); Sugars 6g; Protein 4g; Vitamin A 17250IU (345%DV wow!); Vitamin C 22.6mg (38%DV); Vitamin D: ~39.7IU (~10%DV); Vitamin E ~2mg (~10%DV); Riboflavin 0.2mg (13%DV); Folate 32mcg (11%DV); B12 1mcg (17%DV); Calcium 170mg (17%DV); Magnesium 57mg (14%DV); Potassium 593mg (17%DV)

 *thanks D.A. for introducing me to frozen ginger cubes! Ask for frozen ginger at your local supermarket.
Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

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