Monday, January 14, 2013

Simple Squash Soup

It's certainly the season for soup. And not just any soup, but the most nourishing soup made with long-simmered bone broth and locally grown winter squashes. With the addition of plenty of alliums like onions and garlic, this soup makes the perfect supper for preventing colds and flus, and even cancer!

Winter squashes are full of anti-oxidants. You may have heard of them as being full of beta-carotene but they are also full of the less commonly known alpha carotene, which significantly reduces your risk for cancer and can even inhibit the growth of cancer cell lines. They are also high in fiber and are a good source of complex carbohydartes. In comparison to simple carbohydrates that spike our blood sugar, these offer our bodies an abundance of slowly absorbed glucose that provides steadied energy over time.

Onions are garlic are renowned for their anti-biotic and anti-fungal properties. They both enhance immunity and like winter squashes prevent cancer as well. One study found that those with the highest intake of onions and garlic had the most protection from various forms of cancer. Who knew a simply soup recipe could be so potent? Made with the right ingredients you can transform all your menial dinners into disease preventing feast!

1 large winter squash (kabocha, butternut, hubbard, delicata, carnival, acorn, etc)
1 large onion
4-5 cloves garlic
4-5C bone broth
1-3T of fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, margoram, etc.
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350° and place whole squash in oven dish or directly on rack.
2. Bring broth, onions, garlic and herbs to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
3. When a knife pierces through the squash very easily, it is ready about 35-45 minutes depending on the size. Cut it in half, scoop and discard the seeds. Using a big spoon scoop out all the soft flesh and add to the pot of broth. If some parts of the squash are harder, dice into very small pieces before adding to the pot. Because the soup is blended leave the skin for it's added fiber and nutrients.
 4. Let the flavors mingle for a few minutes, then puree using an immersion hand blender or transfer to a blender.
5. Ladel into bowls, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked blacker pepper, and serve each bowl with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Like all of my recipes there is room to play around, adding different herbs, using your choice of squash. You can also choose to purchase your broth but you will miss out on the Nourishing Benefits of Bone Broth, which are needed especially in the winter season. You can purchase my favorite, high quality beef bones from Rancho San Julian at Farmer's Market on Tuesday or Saturday, and also at IV Coop.

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