I love soup – especially when it’s cold outside. I find that soup is one of the easiest ways to ensure that I get enough veggies throughout the winter months (because raw veggies and salads aren’t very appealing in – 20 C weather).
Soup is also a great way to help control your appetite this time of year, because warm food is more satiating and tends to keep us fuller longer. During the winter months, our serotonin levels drop (increasing our cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods), we’re typically not as active and we don’t eat as many vegetables and fruits. These are a few reasons why many of us tend to notice a bit of a weight gain during the winter.
It’s important that we consume enough veggies (at least 4 servings a day–1 cup of veggie soup= ~1 serving), we get enough sleep (something I will talk about in a future blog post) and that we continue to be as active as possible.
As a busy Mom, I also find that making big batches of soup (whether it’s an all-in-one meal soup or a veggie soup) is an easy way to ensure that my family eats a balanced, healthy meal and also provides as easy option on busy nights.
This velvety butternut squash soup is so delicious- you’ll want to make a big batch! We paired it with grilled chicken thighs and a salad, but it would be perfect with a panini or grilled cheese sandwich too.
- 2 large squash, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp hot chili flakes
- 2 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (I keep mind in the freezer so that it's easier to grate)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp each of nutmeg, cumin and paprika
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cup coconut milk (more or less to suit your taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Place squash halves on a greased large baking sheet. Rub the squash with oil and then Sprinkle squash with cinnamon and baked covered with foil for about 45 minutes to an hour (when you insert a fork, it should be soft.
- In a stockpot, heat oil over medium. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the chilli flakes and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, salt and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- When squash is ready, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes or so. Scoop out the squash - it should be very easy to remove from the skin. If not, you didn’t cook it long enough. Add Squash to the stockpot with the sauteed onions and other spices and along with the 8 cups of veggie stock. Simmer for about 15 minutes while stirring every so often to allow flavours to combine and deepen. Add the maple syrup.
- Transfer the soup in a blender or keep the soup in the stock pot and use an immersion (hand) blender and blend until smooth- I wanted mine extra smooth so I blended for at least 5 minutes until it was velvety smooth.
- Add coconut milk and blend for another 10-20 seconds or so.
- Return to the pot and warm again and serve. Test it out and add more spice and salt and pepper if needed.
Recipe inspired by Kelly Child's BEST Butternut Squash Soup Recipe