How about some Curried Butternut Squash Soup? (A video demonstration)

Let’s talk about winter squash, shall we?

That great little pear-shaped fruit (yes, it is a fruit due to the seeds) that’s related to pumpkins.

Butternut squash. A nutrient powerhouse indeed.

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But wait–what is this funny looking, pear-shaped thing, exactly??

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This winter squash is one of the most nutrient-rich foods that you can find.

  • Full of minerals (such as potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium) {Source}
  • Rich in B-complex vitamins (like folate, vitamin B1, B2, and B6) {Source}
  • Rich in Vitamin C (essential for the immune system)
  • Great source of dietary fiber and a relatively low calorie squash (so great for weight reduction and for GI-related issues)
  • As shown from the orange-yellow color of the squash, rich in the biologically-active compound beta-carotene (also found in carrots), a powerful antioxidant to fight cancers, heart diseases, and degenerative neurological diseases {Source}
  • One of the highest sources of Vitamin A (which is converted from the beta-carotene, once inside the body), providing about 350% of daily intake. Vitamin A is essential for the maintenance of our skin,eyes, and hair {Source}

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This one was seasoned with chili powder, garam masala, and salt and then roasted.... mmmmm!

This one was seasoned with chili powder, garam masala, and salt and then roasted….butternut squash fries, mmmmm.

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I then proceeded to topping them on a bed of spinach and then sprinkled caramelized onions, butternut squash seeds, and cilantro. Simple and delicious!

In short, a serving of butternut squash will provide for you  vitamins and minerals that the body can actually absorb, in contrast to the multi-vitamins tablets and supplements that we all tend to take.

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The seeds are quite nutritious as well (protein-filled, fibrous, and vitamin-rich!). Simply season with salt (or experiment with paprika, chili powder, etc), and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes

I could continue to attempt to convince you on the benefits of eating this absolutely delicious and nutritious squash, but how about I provide you with a (video-based) recipe instead?

Recently, I have been working with my local farmers’ market, Hub City Farmers’ Market and we have been working on a cooking demonstration series for their YouTube channel called “Cooking with HCFM”. The goals are to provide easy, affordable, and nutritious recipes for our community and to encourage healthy eating and buying locally-grown produce.

So for our first recipe, we made a delicious curried butternut squash soup.

I’ll be honest, when I found out that this was our first recipe that we were going to make, I was a bit hesitant. The butternut squash, to me,  was a seemingly difficult item to work with (though I soon found out that this was not the case!) and I had never made a soup from scratch before. However, with the proper techniques (such as peeling the squash before cutting into it) and by following the directions step-by-step, it was a very simple, easy, and absolutely delicious soup to make!

This hearty soup is perfect for a cold or rainy evening. Gluten-free and only has around 100 calories per serving,
It is creamy and smooth and seasoned to perfection, using an assortment of spices, that contain even more disease-fighting antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables, as well as anti-inflammatory and metabolism-boosting effects.

So, without further ado, here is the cooking demonstration video (I’m the one in green. And uhh, try not to get distracted by the semi-motherly voice, as you learn how to make this delicious soup):

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients 

1 small butternut squash (or 2 1/2 cups), peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

3 Cups broth (vegetable or meat-based)

1/2 Small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp paprika

1/8  tsp cumin

1/2  tsp curry

4 oz cream cheese

Directions 

  1. Peel the squash (to make it easier to cut through), remove the seeds, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Chop up the onion and then mince the garlic (by squeezing the clove out of its skin and then simply slicing the clove)
  2. Add all the ingredients but the cream cheese to a stockpot and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce heat slightly and simmer till the squash is tender, about 30 minutes (fork can easily piece the flesh)
  4. Transfer content to blender in batches and add cream cheese, blend till pureed
  5. Transfer back to stockpot and heat to warm and further season if necessary

Total Time:  45 minutes

Prep:  15 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

I hope you guys try this one out. Enjoy!!

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