The Farmer's Markets are winding down for the year selling mostly apples, squash and pumpkins these days. Squash many seem decorative or intimidating, but is a vitamin-rich, rich and tasty gourd.
According to Whole Living, "Like all members of the gourd family (which includes pumpkin, melon, and cucumber), butternut squash is technically a fruit because it contains seeds. Cut into its pale, yellow-beige hard skin, though, and you'll discover a vibrant flesh that's much denser than that of its relatives."
"Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants -- and succulent enough to warrant the moniker "butternut" -- this graceful, hourglass-like gourd is the perfect addition to an autumn meal."
Low in fat, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. The folate content adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation and helps guard against brain and spinal-cord-related birth defects such as spina bifida.
This recipe from How Sweet it is puts an asian flair on the already delicious autumn sweet and savory soup.
Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup
YIELD: SERVES 4
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 sweet onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons red curry paste
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
4 cups uncooked butternut squash (1-inch) cubes
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup torn fresh cilantro for serving
1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts for serving
Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add coconut oil. Once it's melted, add in the onions and the garlic with a pinch of salt and stir. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the ginger and curry paste and stir until it is incorporated. Cook the curry and onion mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the stock and add the squash cubes. Cover the pot and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.
Once the squash is soft, turn off the heat and very carefully pour the entire mixture into a blender. Blend until the soup is smooth and pureed. Pour it back into the pot and turn the heat on to medium low. Add in the coconut milk, lime juice, salt and pepper, and stir. Cover and cook the soup for 10 minutes until it's completely warm. Taste and season additionally if desired. Serve the soup with a garnish of torn cilantro and crushed peanuts.
You might also enjoy Autumn Sweet Potato Squash Soup.
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