Nutritionist’s Pantry — Benefits of Squash and Tasty Pumpkin Soup Recipe
- posted on: November 7, 2017
- posted by: Robin Crowder
By Amanda Bullat, MS, RDN, CN
“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
With Jack-o-lanterns carved and Thanksgiving just around the corner, it seems appropriate to mention that the humble winter squash taking center stage this time of year is also a nutrition power house.
According to one of my talented traditional Chinese Medicine nutrition colleagues, April Crowell, winter squashes are excellent sources of vitamins including, vitamin C, a variety of B vitamins, and potassium.
The warm yellow-orange color of the edible flesh comes from both alpha and beta carotenes. The darker the flesh, the higher concentration of these cancer- and type 2 diabetes-fighting vitamins. Winter Squash are also loaded with dietary fiber, which helps to sooth irritable digestion. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, winter squash warms our core and drains excess damp – meaning they help regulate blood sugar, remove excess damp conditions like symptoms of the common cold, and create a strong lasting energy and digestive system.
Here’s one of our favorite winter squash recipes from culinary instructor Lisa Crawford and our Cultivating Cooks program:
RECIPE: CREAMY PUMPKIN SOUP with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Preparation time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes
1 tablespoon sunflower or grape seed oil
2 shallots, diced (about ¼ cup)
4 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon grated ginger (21 Acres Farm Market has fresh in for the season!)
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1-2 sugar pumpkins, roasted, or 2 ¼ cups (506g) pumpkin puree
2 cups (475g) vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper
Toasted pumpkin seeds for serving (optional, see note)
In a large saucepan over medium heat combine olive oil, shallot, garlic and a good pinch of salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent. Turn down heat if cooking too quickly.
Add squash, broth, spices, another pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Blend soup with an immersion blender and taste for seasoning. For a very smooth & silky soup, push through a sieve before serving.
Note: To toast pumpkin seeds, scatter 1 cup pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Bake for about 7 minutes, at 375º F, or until light brown and crispy.
Serve the soup warm with the toasted pumpkin seeds on top, or in a bowl on the side with serving spoon
Be sure to tell us if you try the recipe! Email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amanda leads our culinary education program at 21 Acres. She is also a Registered Dietician Nutritionist at Alpine Nutrition