Last week, while walking to Kensington Market for my weekly grocery shopping excursion, shivering and frozen to the core, I started fantasizing about this soup. If you have been reading my posts, you will know that winter is not my favourite season as I MUCH prefer the sun and the warmth. However, I can get by, if I arm myself with a bunch of core-warming and nutritious soup recipes.
Health Benefits of Squash
Did you know that butternut squash is actually a fruit? The tip off is that it contains seeds just like all members of the gourd family (cucumber, pumpkin, melon). When you cut into its pale yellow and hard skin you will discover a vibrant flesh -- a tell tale sign it is beaming with a powerhouse of nutrients know as carotenoids, which protect against heart disease. Its very high levels of beta carotene which your body converts to vitamin A) has been studied extensively for the effects in reducing breast cancer and macular degeneration (protecting your peepers).
Dietary fibre is another reason to love this fruit. Fibre is extremely important for keeping cholesterol in check and your digestive tract detoxifying efficiently (fibre, along with bile, remove toxins from the body). Squash is also a source of potassium, vitamin B6 and folate, and it reduces inflammation because of its high antioxidant content, which is important for reducing arthritis and a whole host of inflammatory related disorders.
Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
3 tbsp organic butter or ghee
2 medium sweet onions, diced
1 butternut squash peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 pears, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (Bosc or bartlett)
4-6 cups low sodium chicken stock, or use your own
1/4 cup of almond or brown rice milk for a dairy-free option
In a saucepan over medium heat melt the butter or ghee and cook the onions until tender. Add the squash and pear and cook for about 5 minutes, reduce heat if necessary. Add the chicken stock, enough to cover the solids and simmer for about 18-20 minutes. Just long enough that when you stick a fork into the squash it's tender. Remove from heat and place in a food processor just long enough to puree. Add the milk and voila! Your soup is ready to warm your soul.
Looking for a great dinner idea? Pair this soup with this quinoa, tomato salad.