Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Ginger
Fall will always be the time for cozy sweaters, football games, freshly-picked apples and hearty soups. Here in the south, fall takes a little longer to show up but when it finally arrives, squash, pumpkins and root vegetables are all in abundance. But, do you ever wonder why?
Spirit has the amazing way of giving us the foods that we need at the perfect time we need them. I am always amazed at the colors and nutrient properties of the foods as they come into each season! Throughout the summer, we consume fruits and veggies along with lots of fresh salads. Foods that are light and super hydrating. But, when fall shows up, our needs change. We want to feel nurtured and satisfied. I am reminded of the Danish word "hygge" which simply means the ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures.
Root vegetables are full of vitamins A and C which bolster our immune systems, fight free radicals and lower inflammation which is at the root of so many cancers and chronic diseases. We know that during the winter season, our immune systems need extra help to fight off colds and the flu so, Spirit offers us vegetables full of the vitamins to do just that! Starchy root vegetables are also a great way to get extra fiber and nutrients along with some complex carbs with relatively little sugar. We know that complex carbs allow us to fill full and satisfied....you know that cozy, blanket feeling? Again, hygge...check out this book for more information.
Not only do these vegetables have a long shelf life, they maintain their nutrients for a long stretch of time. So, when butternut squash is abundant, buy a few and plan some soup making in the next few weeks. You might want to give this recipe a try. It's simple with an Instant-Pot but would work well on the stove as well. SO many healing components!
Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion
2.5 teaspoons chopped ginger
1.5 pounds butternut squash, diced
1 large apple, diced
3 teaspoons curry powder, or adjust to taste
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1.5 -2 cups water
1.5 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
⅛ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Press saute button on the IP. Once the pot is hot, add oil to the inner pot.
Add chopped onion and ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes till onions are soft.
Add butternut squash and apples and stir to combine.
Add all the spices - curry powder, smoked paprika, ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper and ground cardamom and mix to combine.
Then add water, maple syrup, salt and black pepper and mix to combine.
Close the lid of the IP. Press the cancel button and then press the manual/pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Do 5 minutes Natural Pressure Release (NPR) and then do a quick release.
Blend the soup using an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use your regular blender - just make sure that the soup cools down a bit before you try to blend it.
Add coconut milk and sriracha (if using) and mix.
Garnish the curried butternut squash apple soup with cilantro, coconut cream and serve hot!
If you are working without an Instant Pot, simply saute the chopped onion and ginger in a soup pot with the oil. Add the butternut squash and apples and stir to combine. Add all of the spices, water, maple syrup, salt and pepper and allow it to simmer for as long as it takes for the squash to be incredibly tender. (You may need to add additional water by the 1/2 cup.) Use an immersion blender and check your spices. Follow directions 8 and 9 and enjoy!
I will always believe that the foods that come into season are the ones we need to be eating. It's easy to visit the grocery store and see strawberries in November and watermelons in March but the truth is....if we eat what is being harvested in any given season, we are going to be healthier with more energy and more of the nutrients that our bodies are needing. Eat in season. Eat local if you can and always be grateful for the amazing rainbow of foods available to us each season!