Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
by Dr. Alexa Chichak
Fall is harvest time for most root vegetables- carrots, squash, yams. Not only are these foods in season meaning they are fresher and cheaper, it also means these foods are easier to source locally.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fall is associated with spice. Eating foods heavier in spice (cinnamon, ginger, etc) this season will feed the body and help the transition into winter. Chinese medicine is also based on balancing the yin and the yang in the body, so colder autumn days are perfectly balanced by warmer, heartier meals.
Besides being spicy and comforting, this soup is also nutritionally packed. One cup of butternut squash contains over 297% of your required daily vitamin A, and 50% of Vitamin C. It’s also an excellent source of fiber and potassium. Cinnamon (one of my favourite spices) it decreases blood sugar spikes, aids in digestion, and even treats hypertension.
I love making this soup on the weekend when I have time to hang out while the squash roasts. It makes a big batch so you have soup all week! The soup is best served with a piece of crusty bread or toast to dip/scrape the sides of the bowl. For gluten-free Vancouverites, I love the Rustic loaf from Lemonade, the gluten free alkeme sourdough from Larry’s Market, and the gluten free bread from Aphrodite.
1 medium butternut squash, chopped in 1 inch cubes, approx. 4 cups
4 apples, chopped in 1 inch cubes (sweeter varieties work best)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
¼ olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
sea salt and ground pepper
honey, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spread the chopped squash, apples, onions and peeled whole garlic cloves over the cookie sheets. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper (approximately. 1/4 tsp of each). Roast in oven until squash is golden brown, approximately 1 hour, stirring every twenty minutes or so.
Add the roasted vegetables to a large pot, and pour in the vegetable stock and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer. You may need to add more water as it boils off- the liquid should be just covering the vegetables. When the squash and apples are soft, blend with an immersion blender until smooth. You can also transfer to a stand blender to blend, but be cautious as the steam can blow off the lid if it’s too hot. After it’s all smooth, add the cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Some squash are slightly bitter, so you can add honey in small amounts (a tablespoon at a time) to taste.
Dr. Alexa Chichak is a Naturopathic Doctor and offers appointments at Local Health Integrative Clinic Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Click here to book an appointment with Dr. Alexa.