Tasty Tuesdays – Butternut Squash Soup
Roasted butternut squash is absolutely delicious and makes a fantastic base for a soup. This no fuss and easy to make soup is satisfying and sure to become a classic in your recipe box. It also freezes very well.
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 large white onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- salt & pepper
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Safely cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. *Save the seeds to roast (recipe below)
- Cut the white onion into 1/4 sections. Cut the head off of the garlic and wrap in aluminum foil.
- Place the squash (inside facing up), onion and garlic foil package on a baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until squash is tender.
- Let vegetables cool for 15 minutes and then purée with 1 cup of vegetable broth.
- Pour the purée into a soup pot and add the rest of the vegetable broth, bay leaves, brown sugar, curry, oregano, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Simmer for 10 minutes and then season with salt & pepper.
- Remove the bay leaves and add the yogurt and fresh cilantro.
Butternut squash is a member of the winter squash family and should not be overlooked during the warmer months. A relative of cucumbers and melons, the squash is an excellent source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, potassium, as well as vitamins A, C and E (Jacobo-Valenzuela et al., 2011). Together, these nutrients are known to contribute to vision health and the growth and repair of tissues. Fiber is always important to include in your daily diet because it improves cholesterol levels and digestion while increasing satiety, thus benefitting weight management (Alpers, et al., 2008). Vitamin C increases the body’s absorption of iron while potassium aids in the maintenance of healthy blood pressure (Alpers, et al., 2008). In fact, 1 cup of baked squash supplies the body with 1/3 of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C (19 mg) and 494 mg of potassium (Rowe and Davis, 1008). A large component of squash is starch which in fact happens to be a surprisingly healthy type of starch that is high in pectin. Recent research on animals has shown that starch may be more beneficial than previously thought because of its pectin concentration. Pectin is found in the cell walls of plants and acts as a soluble dietary fiber by binding to cholesterol and slowing down the absorption of glucose (O’Donoghue and Somerfield, 2008). Results from a study by Fissore et al. (2010), show that pectin may also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and insulin regulating properties. Lastly, make sure to keep the scooped out seeds. They are an excellent source of linoleic and oleic acids which are healthy omega-6 and monounsaturated fatty acids, respectively. Lightly oil the seeds on a baking sheet and roast for approximately 20 minutes on low heat (170 °F). To add more flavour sprinkle with paprika or cumin prior to roasting and lightly salt & pepper before you eat. Isn’t it exciting when you can use the entirety of a vegetable!