Kid-Friendly, Cheap, and Nutritious Soup: Butternut Squash With a Dash of Nutmeg
A Quick, Cheap, and Nutritious Soup
What could be more comforting than a large steaming bowl of this colourful family favourite served with a really good wholemeal bread? My grandchildren love it. To make a more substantial lunch or supper, toast the bread, spread with some grated cheese, and then pop under the grill until melting. Enjoy the slightly sweet flavour of the soup with the warmth of added nutmeg, perhaps adding a dash of turmeric for its health-promoting properties; and bask in the satisfaction of having produced a low-cost, healthy, and nutritious meal for minimal effort. Any leftovers can be frozen or kept in the refrigerator for the next day.
- 1 medium (around 2lb) Butternut Squash, Chopped, seeds removed (no need to peel)
- 1 large Onion, Chopped
- 1 Carrot, Sliced
- 1 stick Celery, Chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, Chopped
- 2 pints Stock (chicken or vegetable), Hot
- Wash and chop the vegetables
- Sweat the vegetables with a tablespoonful of olive oil or butter in a covered pan for around ten minutes. If you plan to add a spoonful of turmeric now is the time to do it, as the beneficial properties of this super spice are enhanced by cooking with fat. Shake the pan regularly to prevent sticking.
- Add the garlic and the hot stock to the vegetable mixture
- Cover the pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for approximately 20 minutes
- Blitz the soup in a liquidiser (if you don't own a liquidiser you could pass the soup through a sieve). Alternatively, cut the vegetables into small bitesize pieces before cooking and serve a chunky soup.
- Before serving, check the seasoning. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to suit personal taste. Stir in freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- If the consistency of the soup is too thick for your taste thin it a little by adding more stock/water or some milk.
The Benefits of Adding Turmeric to Food
Note: Turmeric is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, which derive from curcumin, the yellow pigment. It has long been a key ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine. Research into its benefits is ongoing. Recent clinical trials found to be more successful than a placebo in relieving pain associated with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
After preparing this soup, it can be stirred into individual servings according to personal preferences.
Nutritional Content of Butternut Squash
The American Department of Agriculture website lists ninety-three nutrients contained in butternut squash. A single serving has huge amounts of Vitamin A and Carotene, enough to satisfy our daily requirements, as well as a whole raft of other vitamins and minerals essential to good health.
Note: Don't get too hung up on the proportions of the vegetables in this soup. They are not carved in tablets of stone. The recipe can be varied to satisfy individual tastes or to make use of what is in the vegetable box of the refrigerator.
Other Ways to Serve Butternut Squash
- Roast chunks of butternut squash and serve as a side dish
- Saute chunks of butternut squash and toss into pasta with some pine nuts and chopped sage