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!
A friend made this soup for me and I have made it more or less every week since. It is absolutely delicious and consists of only five ingredients.
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb
- 6 vine ripe tomatoes (or whichever tomato is your favourite)
- 900 ml vegetable stock
- 12-15 basil leaves
- Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat.
- Thinly slice the fennel bulb and add to the soup pot, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes, or until tender.
- Add the roughly chopped tomatoes and stir into the cooked fennel.
- Pour the vegetable stock in and increase the heat to bring the pot to a simmer.
- Once simmering, lower to medium heat and cook for 8 minutes.
- Take off the heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves.
Fennel is known for its strong liquorice taste which leads to people either loving it or not being able to stomach it. If you are one of the many that enjoy the taste then this recipe is for you! This vegetable is a wonderful source of fiber; in fact 1 cup has approximately 11% of an individual’s daily needed value which helps to remove toxins from the colon and may reduce cholesterol levels. Furthermore, in that 1 cup of fennel there is roughly 6% of your daily folate intake and about 10% of your daily recommended potassium (Wood, R. 1988). Fennel is composed of many phytonutrients including the two flavonoids; quercetin and rutin, both powerful antioxidants. Another important phytonutrient involved in reducing inflammation and ultimately preventing the occurrence of cancers is anethole. This compound works by halting the activation of inflammation triggering molecules and is also a known antimicrobial (Chauiny et al., 2000). Interestingly, the ancient Greeks believed fennel to be a food of the gods. In short, fennel is a fantastic vegetable that might just impart the wisdom of the gods upon all those who eat it!
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Cook time : 25 minutes
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil, (approx)
- 1 large leek , (white and light green parts only), diced
- 1 potato , peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic , sliced
- 4 cups (1L) vegetable broth
- 3 cups (750 mL) shredded Savoy cabbage
- 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) white kidney beans or mixed beans, drained
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh oregano or fresh parsley, (approx)
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
- Grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 baguette
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic , halved
In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté leek, potato and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add broth and 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in cabbage, beans, oregano, salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes. Transfer 1 cup (250 mL) to blender and purée; return to pot and heat through. Serve sprinkled with more of the olive oil and oregano, and Parmesan cheese.
Garlic Toasts: Meanwhile, cut baguette into 12 slices; brush with oil. Broil until golden. Rub with garlic.
Source : Canadian Living Magazine: April 2010
• 8 pounds butternut squash, peeled & seeded, cut into cubes (1-inch)
• 8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
• 6 tablespoons Olive oil
• 2 large white onions, chopped
• 6 cloves garlic
• Kosher or seas salt, to taste
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 1 french baguette, sliced on an angle, thin (approximately 1/4 inch thick)
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 tablespoon Kosher or Sea salt
• ½ cup goat cheese
• Preheat oven to 400°F
• In a large bowl, toss butternut squash, onions, garlic, salt and pepper with olive oil to coat
• Divide between 2 baking sheets and roast until browned, 45 minutes
• Keep oven on for crostini (below)
• Using a blender or hand blender, puree batches of roasted vegetables with vegetable broth
• Transfer to a large pot and heat until desired temperature
• Immediately before serving, drizzle olive oil in swirl pattern on top
• Spread baguette slices onto cookie sheet
• Pour olive oil into a small bowl and spread a small amount onto each slice with a pastry brush
• Sprinkle with salt
• Bake in 400°F for approximately 5 minutes (keep a close eye on it, as it can burn easily)
• Remove from oven and spread a thin layer of goat cheese onto each slice, while still hot.
Serving Tip: Serve soup in bowl with 1-2 pieces of crostini on edge of dish. Also great as a dinner party appetizer, served in large shot glasses or martini glasses with the crostini inserted into soup!