Updated: Jan 30
Sad that the summer weather is already over and that the cold, wet weather is not letting up, made me want some comforting soup. This sweet, nutty flavored squash seemed perfect for a fall day like today.
But this soup is way more than just comfort food. It is also packed in vitamins and antioxidants that help you fight disease and maintain health.
For example, it has 450% of your recommended daily intake for vitamin A, 50% of vitamin C and packed with vitamin E and carotenoids, which all have been studied to provide amazing health benefits.
Vitamin A is excellent at maintaining eye and bone health, and supporting immune function in the cold weather months.(2) Vitamin C is also excellent for immune support, synthesis of collagen, and wound and tissue healing(1). Furthermore, studies have also shown that it is excellent at fighting against cancer. (6) The vitamin E has also been studied to reduce mental decline caused by aging and to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. (5) The carotenoids are also known to reduce the risk of heart disease. (6)
So not only does butternut squash soup give you a warm hug for your insides but it also supports and heals them.
I saw the butternut squash in season at the market, and I just had to buy it. Here's how to make this amazing healing soup.
1 medium-sized butternut squash, halved vertically and seeded
1 medium-sized sweet potato, halved vertically
1 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp fresh thyme Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups vegetable broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
Garnish with a handful of pumpkin seeds
Heavy cooking cream replacement of choice (I used soy)
Fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400C. Cut squash and sweet potato in half and coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Place them face down on the pan. Cook for about 45 to 50 minutes. Set aside until cooled then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the squash and potato and transfer into a blender.
2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and pour olive oil. Add the garlic and fresh sage. Brown garlic and fry sage until crispy. Set crispy sage aside.
3. Transfer the cooked garlic, maple syrup and 1 cup of the vegetable broth into a blender. Blend until you have a smooth texture (approx. 1-2 minutes).
4. Pour the blended mixture into a sieve to remove any remaining lumps and then transfer into a large casserole. Add in the bay leaf, fresh thyme, cinnamon stick, remaining broth and let simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Garnish with olive oil, cream replacement of choice, crispy sage, pumpkin seeds, and pepper and some fresh thyme to taste.
Serves 6 portions.
1. Abdullah M, Jamil RT, Attia FN. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) [Updated 2019 Jun 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499877/
2. Gilbert C. (2013). What is vitamin A and why do we need it?. Community eye health, 26(84), 65. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936685/
3. Kesse-Guyot, E., Andreeva, V., Ducros, V., Jeandel, C., Julia, C., Hercberg, S., & Galan, P. (2014). Carotenoid-rich dietary patterns during midlife and subsequent cognitive function. British Journal of Nutrition, 111(5), 915-923. doi:10.1017/S0007114513003188
4. Luo, J., Shen, L., & Zheng, D. (2014). Association between vitamin C intake and lung cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis. Scientific reports, 4, 6161. doi:10.1038/srep06161
5. Rizvi, S., Raza, S. T., Ahmed, F., Ahmad, A., Abbas, S., & Mahdi, F. (2014). The role of vitamin e in human health and some diseases. Sultan Qaboos University medical journal, 14(2), e157–e165. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3997530/
6. Wang, J.-B. et al. (2016) Dietary components and risk of total, cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality in the Linxian Nutrition Intervention Trials cohort in China. Sci. Rep. 6, 22619; doi: 10.1038/srep22619 . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4778051/