As colder weather has arrived, I start to think of what soups to make to stay warm and cozy. Winter squash is now readily available, locally grown and reasonably priced. I enjoy using butternut squash but acorn squash, buttercup squash, Hubbard squash and spaghetti squash are some other varieties you may also see in store.
Winter squash can be prepared in many different ways. You can:
- Bake them by: cutting the squash in half, removing seeds and baking at 375F for about an hour, until tender
- Add it to soups: by removing the skin, cutting into chunks and adding them to your favourite soup and either enjoy it chunky or blend it until smooth.
- Add it to your favourite salads: by cutting it into cubes, baking and adding it to your favourite salad mixture such as: spinach leaves with chickpeas, onions, and tomatoes.
Squash provides you with nutrients such as: beta carotene, potassium, vitamin C and folate. During pregnancy, these nutrients are important for: vision, immune function, growth and repair of bones, teeth and skin, growth of tissues such as the uterus and placenta and preventing neural tube defects.
Here is my go-to butternut squash soup recipe that I make time and time again:
Gingered Butternut Squash Soup
|1||onion, chopped finely||1|
|2 tsp||olive oil||10 ml|
|1 ½ cups||butternut squash, chopped and peeled||375 ml|
|2 ½ cups||Water*||625 ml|
|2||garlic cloves, minced and mashed into paste with ½ teaspoon (2 ml) salt||2|
|¾ tsp||fresh ginger root, grated and peeled||4 ml|
|3 Tbsp||fresh parsley leaves*, minced||45 ml
- In a heavy saucepan, cook onion in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring until onion is softened.
- Add squash and 2 cups of the water. Simmer mixture for 15 minutes or until squash is very tender.
- Stir in the garlic paste and gingerroot. Simmer for 1 minute.
- In a blender, puree the soup with the remaining ½ cup of water and stir in the parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
*You can substitute the water for a broth and/or add different spices that you like. I sometimes add a tablespoon of curry powder for a change in flavour!
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 73 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 306 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 2 g fibre, 5 g sugars, 1 g protein, 113% DV vitamin A, 26% DV vitamin C, 5% DV calcium, 4% DV iron.
For more information about picking and storing winter squash, check out Unlockfood.ca
How do you prepare your squash? Share your squash recipes in the comments below!