Snow Day

A winter storm swept through Denver yesterday, changing my schedule for the day.  While I was disappointed to postpone the Healthy Holiday Eating workshop, it was a gift to have the day to do a little research for a new client and spend some time in the kitchen.
Years ago my sister shared a butternut squash soup recipe with me that we love in the fall- squash, green apples, thyme, all sorts of delicious fall flavors.  With the wintery weather I wanted something a little more hearty.  The end result- Curried Butternut Squash Soup.
Two herbs I added- ginger and astragalus root.  Ginger is known for helping to reduce symptoms associated with motion sickness and GI distress.  Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.   Astragalus root is an adaptogenic herb meaning it can help your body find balance, and provides protection from physical, mental and emotion stress.  During this time of year- cold and flu season coupled with all the hustle and bustle associated with the holidays, I use it in all my soups!
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 6 cups of butternut squash, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  •  inch piece of ginger diced
  • 1 tablespoon of curry paste (yellow, green or red)
  • 1 or 2 (depending on size) pieces of astragalus root
  • 6 cups of butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • Chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can or 1 1/2 cups of full fat coconut milk

Directions
In a large stockpot over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter.  Add onion, carrots, celery, and butternut squash.  Sauté until onions are translucent.  Add garlic, ginger and curry paste.  Mix until curry paste is evenly distributed.  Add chicken or vegetable broth to just barely cover vegetables (approximately 2.5 cups).  Add in coconut milk and astragalus root.  Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender (approximately 30 minutes).  Simmer until squash is tender (approximately 30 minutes).  Using a slotted spoon, remove astragalus root and set aside.  With either an immersion blender or a blender, puree the soup.  Once pureed I like to add the astragalus root back to the pot so it can continue seeping into the soup and I avoid it when ladling out servings.
Add it to a holiday dinner, serve it with a salad for lunch, or even have it for breakfast.  Yes, I said breakfast.  Especially in the winter, I love a warm mug of soup for breakfast.  It’s easy to digest and full of nutrients.  Whenever you eat it, I hope you enjoy!
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