By Maria Flynn
About 40 minutes
Serves 6 to 8 (depending on size of your soup bowl)
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 bay leaf
sea salt, to taste
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into small 1" cubes
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small 1" cubes
3 pints of organic chicken broth
In a large pot melt butter on medium heat. Add the onions and cook slowly until soft (about 7 to 8 minutes - do not brown). Add ginger, bayleaf, white pepper and sea salt. Mix for about two minutes. Add butternut squash, sweet potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until squash and potatoes are tender. Remove form heat and let it cool. Remove bay leaf and puree with immersion blender or food processor. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Cranberry Port Wine Puree
1/2 bag of fresh cranberries (12oz bag)</li>
2 oz of good port wine (use what you like to drink)
1 tablespoon of organic raw sugar or Agave
In a sauce pan, combine cranberries, port wine and raw sugar (or Agave). Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the cranberries are bursting and the mixture begins to thicken up. Remove from heat and let it cool. Puree with hand blender or food processor. You can strain sauce to remove skins (or leave skin in the puree). Keep puree warm and top each bowl of soup with about 1 to 2 tablespoons.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND GARNISHES
You can use red wine to replace port wine and adjust the sweetener to your liking. You can also remove wine completely from this garnish and simply add some cooked sweetened cranberries on the top.
For a completely different twist. I remove cranberries entirely from this recipe. After blending the soup with the immersion blender, I stir in some heavy creme and ground cumin. Continue to heat the soup for about 5 more minutes. The soup becomes more of a bisque and the flavor is more robust and the aroma--YUM!
The deep gorgeous colors of butternut squash and sweet potatoes make this soup a powerhouse food when it comes to nutrition. According to wholeliving.com, butternut squash is "Low in fat, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. The folate content adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation and helps guard against brain and spinal-cord-related birth defects such as spina bifida.
Squash's tangerine hue, however, indicates butternut's most noteworthy health perk. The color signals an abundance of powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease. In particular, the gourd boasts very high levels of beta-carotene (which your body automatically converts to vitamin A), identified as a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, as well as a supporter of healthy lung development in fetuses and newborns. What's more, with only a 1-cup serving, you get nearly half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C.
As if this weren't enough, butternut squash may have anti-inflammatory effects because of its high antioxidant content. Incorporating more of this hearty winter staple into your diet could help reduce risk of inflammation-related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma." Read more at Wholeliving.com