Curried Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup
Ever had butternut squash soup that tastes like nothing?
Yea, me too.
I have tried countless versions of butternut squash soup and am almost always disappointed to find out that they taste like squash-flavored broth. What is the point of that? We have a fantastic little local market and deli near our home, called the Rocket Market. Last winter I gave their curried butternut squash soup a try, and fell in love. This soup has an awesome flavor profile and just the right amount of spice. I get this soup every time I see it in the deli, and have since been trying to create a butternut squash soup that rivals it. That is why I am so joyed to share this recipe with you. This Curried Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup is anything but flavorless. It is rich, and creamy, with just a touch of spice making it suitable for any palate.
The Perfect Fall Soup
It is that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning to warm hues of oranges and reds, and the air outside is getting brisk and cool. It is Fall, folks. Here in Washington we have been getting loads of rain, and I kind of enjoy it. I love the fresh air, the wet leaves, and living the cliche of curling up in a warm house with homemade soup and a book.
Fall is the perfect time to explore warm and flavorful spices, and all the seasonal produce that is now available. Am I the only one who naturally starts craving sweet potatoes, squash, apples, and pears as soon as the season begins to change? This curried coconut and butternut squash soup is the ideal thing to warm your spirit.
Fall also happens to be one of those times of the year when everyone seems to be getting sick. It is not an old wives tale that soup can help you get over a sickness. Soup is the perfect food to help you kick a cold, or prevent one from getting the best of you in the first place.
Here is how this soup can help you stay ahead of the cold season:
- BONE BROTH – Good bone broth is rich in collagen and immune healing amino acids like glycine, proline and glutamine. The digestive tract is the seat of the immune system, in which 70-80% of your body’s immune cells are located. This makes gut health so incredibly important for proper immunity. Collagen is particularly healing for the lining of your gut, which can help keep your immune system in tip top shape. The amino acids in bone broth support cellular regeneration which allows the cells of your GI tract to repair. This is key to healing or preventing leaky gut and maintaining a strong gut lining to keep those bacterial invaders from entering your blood stream and wreaking havoc.
- BIO-AVAILABLE VITAMINS – Soup is an incredibly fantastic way to get the nutrients your body needs when you are sick. Cooking and pureeing vegetables increases digestibility, giving your digestive system a much needed break, and allows for increased absorption of nutrients. Unfortunately, many cooking methods destroy or dispose of these valuable nutrients. When you steam or boil vegetables, a lot of the water-soluble vitamins are lost in the cooking water. This is not the case with soup because the broth you boiled the squash in is blended into the soup, preserving the vitamins and making them easily accessible for your body. Butternut squash is loaded with vitamins A and C, with countless other vitamins and minerals. Consuming vitamin C via soup increases the chance of retaining and using this vitamin. Products like Emergen-C, which supply you with mega-dose quantities of powdered vitamin C, boast immune boosting properties but research does not support this claim. These products generally just result in expensive urine due to low bio-availability of these forms of vitamins, and low storage capacity for water soluble vitamins in the body.
- SUPPORT FOR YOUR FLORA – Just like collagen and amino acids, the healthy bacteria in your gut have an extensive role in assisting your body with immune functions. Some varieties of friendly bacteria in your GI tract have been shown to activate immune cells causing them to proliferate, and attract them to the lining of your intestinal wall to help keep foreign invaders on the outside. These happy bacteria feed on what we call “prebiotic fibers”. Resistant starch, found in green bananas, sweet potatoes, and squash, is considered a prebiotic and is food for these immune boosting friends.
- ANTIOXIDANTS – Antioxidants play an important role in fighting infections. Eating an adequate amount of antioxidants can help protect your immune cells from environmental damage while encouraging the production of white blood cells. Nutrient dense foods like fruits and vegetables are obvious sources of antioxidants, but some of the richest sources of antioxidants can be found in your spice cupboard. Curry, turmeric, ginger, paprika, chili, basil, cinnamon and oregano are all incredibly rich sources of antioxidants. One teaspoon of ground spices can have significantly more antioxidants than cups of nutrient dense fruits or veggies, depending on the type and freshness. All the more reason to close your spice jars tightly, and preserve all that health promoting goodness.
Paleo Curried Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup
This soup is anything but bland. The flavors are rich and bold. This soup is low in calories, high in nutrients, and incredibly delicious.
- 1 large butternut squash about 5 cups
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1-2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 2 cups bone broth
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lime juice
- 1 can coconut milk
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp yellow curry powder
- 3 tsp corriander
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 3 tbsp curry paste red or green
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1/2 tbsp chili paste optional
- 1/4 cashews
Begin by heating the avocado oil in a very large pot over medium heat.
Coarsely chop the onion and add to the pot. Cook until onion becomes translucent (about 3 minutes). Add garlic and cook for several more minutes.
While onion is cooking, peel squash, cut in half and remove seeds. Chop squash into chunks. Add chopped squash and broth to pan with onion and garlic.
Allow broth to come to a low boil and reduce heat. Cook squash in broth until tender (you should be able to pierce it with a fork - about 20-25 minutes). Add coconut aminos and apple cider vinegar.
Pour squash and broth into a large blender. Add spices, coconut sugar and coconut milk to blender. Blend until spices are incorporate and mixture is smooth.
Chop cilantro and cashews. Pour soup into bowls. Top with cilantro and cashews, and enjoy!
You can substitute lime juice for the apple cider vinegar. If you do not have coconut sugar, a small amount of any sweetener could work. Chicken or vegetable broth can be used in place of bone broth.
This recipe produces a large volume. Make sure your pot is large enough.
*To make vegan - substitute bone broth for vegetable broth. *