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Hagarita -  the love of cooking and sharing food

Everything that is orange

I got home today after an extra long day, and I was Starving (not because I didn't eat, I just needed more).What am I going to eat? I sure don't feel like cooking, and I am kind of tired of fried eggs on a toast. Ah! I remembered, I had so much squash left after making pies on Sunday and I made some soup from it. yes! "Everything that is orange" soup is one of the many reasons why Fall might be the best season of the year. You know how they say that carrots are good for your eyes? Well, they are right. The carrot, and all other orange fruit,vegetables and roots, gets its characteristic and bright orange color from β-carotene, which is metabolized in our body into vitamin A, an antioxidant that neutralizes the damaging free radicals in the body, and is helpful not only for good eyesight but also for the skin, lungs, digestive tract and heart health. The juice from carrots and squash reduces inflammation and heals burns (though my favorite treatment for those two is turmeric-another orange-colored goodness). All orange-colored vegetables are also beneficial for blood sugar regulation, and are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant which boosts the immune system, protects against cardiovascular disease and helps rebuild collagen in the skin. According to Chinese traditions carrots, squash seeds and pumpkin seeds are also extremely helpful if you are trying to destroy intestinal worms and improves qi energy circulation. * (based mostly on information from the book “Healing with whole foods” Paul Pitchford, "she-knows" health and wellness and other online sources).

I knew there is a reason why I am favoring the orange colors in my life.

Well, back to dinner, kombu and butternut squash soup, an easy, delicious meal that will help you stay vibrant and healthy.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 small or one medium size squash: butternut, buttercup, kombu, acorn, kabucha, sweet dumpling, or any other squash you like. I prefer any combination of the first three listed.
  • 2 large carrots, cut into big chunks
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4
  • few cloves of garlic
  • fresh ginger root  (about 3-4 inch long), grated
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 12 oz cream or half and half- totally optional
  • oil or butter for roasting vegetables
  • salt and pepper
  • some bread to serve on the side

Directions:

  1. pre-heat the oven to about 300 degrees
  2. cut open squash and clean all the seeds and the stringy parts (keep seeds for sprouting or roasting)
  3. rub the squash with olive oil or butter, salt and pepper, place a clove of garlic inside the squash and cover with foil
  4. place carrots and onion in a roasting pan, with oil, salt and pepper
  5. roast all vegetables until tender, carrots and onions may be ready before the squash
  6. when the squash is ready separate from the skin and place in a blender along with the carrots, onion, ginger, half the stock, about a tablespoon of oil or butter and cream, if desired - you might have to do this step in two batches
  7. blend together and add chicken stock until you reach the right consistency
  8. add salt and pepper to taste
  9. toast the bread and rub it with a sliced clove of garlic, some butter and salt. serve on the side

Notes: as the soup cools down it will thicken, when you reheat it add some more stock or water if necessary. you can also use pumpkin and sweet potato in this soup, or a little bit of everything.