Autumn Herb Recipe
Winter Squash & Ginger Soup
Eating the vegetables and fruits that ripen in Autumn helps the body transition into the season and stay healthy. Because the Qi is seen to go downwards and return to the earth in Autumn, root vegetables and winter squashes that lie on the earth and absorb the sun’s energy over the summer are particularly good. Winter squashes include butternut, pumpkin, acorn and Kabucha squash, any of which would be a good choice for this nutrient dense soup.According to Chinese medicine, winter squash is warm in nature with an affinity for the Spleen and Stomach, and is a Qi tonic. In western terms, winter squash contains lots of complex carbohydrates, is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A and C, potassium and manganese, and a good source of vitamin E, vitamins B 2 & 6, folate, vitamin K, iron and magnesium.
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
- Large butternut or other winter squash cubed and peeled (about 1.5 pounds)
- 1-2 chopped carrots
- 1 stalk chopped celery
- 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (preferably organic)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Optional: one bunch kale with stems removed and finely chopped
- Serve garnished with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream
- Melt coconut oil or butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add squash, carrot, celery, garlic and onion; sauté for 10-12 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat; stir in cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
- Use a handheld immersion blender in the pot to blend until smooth. Alternately, place batches of the soup in a blender. Remove center portion of blender lid to allow steam to escape, and secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean dishtowel over opening in blender lid to avoid splatters. Blend until smooth.
- Optional: Add finely chopped kale and bring back to a simmer for 10 minutes.