It’s Squash Season!

This time of year the stores and markets are bursting with beautiful, colourful winter squash.  There are a number of different types, the most common are acorn and butternut squash.  Butternut squash are especially high in Vitamins A & C.  They store well because of their think hard shells, but don’t wait to include them in your diet.   The easiest way to prepare them is to roast them, season lightly with salt, pepper and a bit of butter.  Here’s a recipe that takes you one step further by making roasted butternut squash into a lovely winter soup!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 

Serves 4-5.  Serving size Approximately 2 cups (500 mL)

3 cups (750 mL) butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1/2 medium onion, peeled

1/2 large parsnip, peeled and cut in half

1/2 head garlic

1Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil, divided

1/2 large Granny Smith apple, cored

3 cups (750 mL) chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium)

1/2 tsp (2 mL) fennel seed (optional)

3/8 tsp (1.5 mL) Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) nutmeg

1 tsp (5 mL) Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning

1 bay leaf

1 cup (250 mL) low-fat Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp (30 mL) 1% milk

1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) cornstarch

2 Tbsp (30 mL) parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350oF (175oC).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

2.  In a large bowl toss squash, onion and parsnip in 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) of the canola oil and place on the baking sheet.

3.  Slice the top off the head of garlic and brush with canola oil.  Wrap garlic in foil and set on the baking sheet with the vegetable.

4.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes until the vegetable are fork tender.  While vegetables are roasting, lightly brush apple with remaining 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) canola oil and add to the pan for the last 15 minutes of roasting.   Remove baking sheet from the oven.  Set garlic aside.

5.  In a medium pot on low heat, add broth, fennel seed, Italian seasoning, cinnamon, nutmeg and Mrs. Dash.  Stir well.  Squeeze garlic cloves out of their skin into a food processor or large blender.  In batches, add roasted vegetables and apples, adding just enough broth to blend until smooth.  Transfer pureed soup to a large pot.  Repeat until all the vegetables, apple and broth are pureed.  Add bay leaf and bring to a gentle simmer for 10-15 minutes and reduce to low heat.

6.  In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup (175 mL) of Greek yogurt, milk and cornstarch.  Stir well to blend thoroughly.  Slowly add about 1 cup (250 mL) of soup to the yogurt mixture, stirring well.  Return the mixture to the soup pot and stir, add salt and pepper to taste and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.

7.  Mix parsley with remaining yogurt and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Ladle soup into a bowl and garnish with a dollop of the yogurt mixture.

 

Nutritional Analysis:  Per serving:  223 kcal, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 37 g carbohydrate, 8 g fibre, 11 g protein.