Sunday, January 1, 2017

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Happy New Year! It’s amazing how quickly the new year came upon us! Have you all made your resolutions yet? 

Previously, I wrote a post about some of the winter fruits and vegetables available. Today, I’d like to focus more on the tasty butternut squash. Butternut squash is a good source of fiber, potassium, and magnesium. It is also naturally fat and cholesterol free! A half-cup contains only 50 calories, yet, provides you with 260% of your daily value for vitamin A and 40% of your daily value for vitamin c, which can help support your immune system. 

Now, after reading those quick facts about butternut squash, it sounds pretty enticing, doesn’t it? Makes you want to put it in your shopping cart during your next grocery shopping trip, huh? But, you may worry that you won’t be able to cook it right away or you’d like to find a recipe first before you cook it. Worry not! Butternut squash is a hearty vegetable that can be stored up to about a month in your pantry. When choosing butternut squash, pick one that is heavy for its size, is free of bruises, and is more tan in color than white. Below is a delicious recipe for homemade butternut squash and apple soup. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
Total Time: 60 minutes (stovetop), 5-7 hours (crockpot)
Yield: 3.5 quarts
Servings: 6

1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I used a flaxseed oil variety)
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 cup water
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth 
2 large onions, chopped 
2 medium apples, chopped 
Dash of salt and pepper
*Roasted butternut squash seeds (optional)

Directions- Stove Top
1. Sauté butter, olive oil, and onions in a large pot for about 5-10 mintues, stirring occasionally.
2. Cut squash into chunks and add to pot with apples, salt, pepper, water, and broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for about 30-40 minutes.
3. Remove soup from pot and puree in a blender or use an immersion blender right in the pot!
4. (Optional) Top your soup with a sprinkling of roasted butternut squash seeds.

Directions- Slow Cooker
1. Sauté butter, olive oil, and onions in a small saucepan for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer onions to the slow cooker.
**You can also lightly cook the onions in the bottom of your slow cooker. 
2. Cut squash into chunks and add to your slow cooker with the apples, salt, pepper, water, and broth. Cook for 5-7 hours on high heat.
3. Remove soup from slow cooker and puree in a blender or use an immersion blender right in your slow cooker. 
4. (Optional) Top your soup with a sprinkling of roasted butternut squash seeds.

Nutrition Information (approx. 1 cup) 120 Calories, 3.5 g Fat, 68 mg Sodium, 445mg Potassium, 23g Carbohydrates, 5.5g Fiber, 1.5g Protein, 170% Vitamin A, 38% Vitamin C, 16.5 % Vitamin B-6

*Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds
Instead of discarding your butternut squash seeds, set them aside and use for a soup topping or quick snack! Simply rinse your seeds in a small bowl of water (to remove stringy flesh) and pat dry on a towel. Spread the seeds on a greased baking sheet, drizzle them with a splash of olive oil, and sprinkle on seasonings of choice. Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 300 degrees F.  Keep an eye on the time for smaller seeds so that they do not burn. 

Seasoning Blends: 
-Sweet: Cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup
-Savory: Paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper

Post is guest written by Christine Farinella - Current dietetic intern with the University of Delaware that holds a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics from West Chester University. Recipe credit to Felicia Porrazza of PorrazzaNutrition. 

References - 

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