Don’t let the word vegan scare you, this soup is quick, hearty and healthy, ridiculously easy and delicious. It definitely falls under the “less is more” category. You don’t even have to roast or peel the squash. That’s right! Leave the peel on, its delicious and cooks up silkily. Don’t get skeptical, Jamie Oliver leaves the skin on too. It’s true!
No need to haul out a carton of cream or your nutmeg grinder, you don’t event need to tinker with brandy. This soup is deceptively simple.
If you don’t believe me go ahead and tart it up all you want, but I doubt you’ll come up with a soup that is as lovely and satisfying as the original.
Quick Butternut squash Soup (I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan!)
-2 medium onions, chopped
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 bay leaf
-1 large butternut squash, cubed (skin on, seeds removed)
-1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
-1 teaspoon almond oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon white pepper
-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
-put onions, cubed squash and garlic in heavy saucepan. Add water to cover about 2/3
-bring vegetables to simmer, lower heat and simmer until squash is soft, about ½ an hour
-remove from heat. Remove bay leaf and blitz with emulsion blender until smooth
-stir in coconut milk, return to low heat
-season to taste with salt, white pepper and cardamom
-stir in almond oil (optional)
Here is a little info on the health benefits of Butternut squash and onions gleaned from various sources:
Butternut squash contains many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. Similar to other cucurbitaceae members, it is very low in calories; provides just 45 cal per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is rich source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients. Squash is often recommended by dieticians in the cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs. It has more vitamin A than that in pumpkin, 100 g providing about 354% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A helps body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.Furthermore, butternut squash has plentiful of natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds like α and ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, and lutein. These compounds convert to vitamin A inside the body and deliver same protective functions of vitamin A on the body. It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid. It has similar mineral profile as pumpkin, containing adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Onions are very low in calories (just 40 cal per 100 g) and fats; but rich in soluble dietary fiber. Onion phyto-chemical compounds allium and Allyl disulphide convert to allicin by enzymatic reaction when the bulb disturbed (crushing, cutting etc). Studies have shown that these compounds have anti-mutagenic (protects from cancers) and anti-diabetic properties (helps lower blood sugar levels in diabetics). Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal activities. Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by release of nitric oxide (NO); thereby bring reduction in the total blood pressure. It also blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action in the blood vessels which, helps decrease overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke. Onions are a rich source of chromium, the trace mineral that helps tissue cells respond appropriately to insulin levels in the blood; thus helps facilitate insulin action and control sugar levels in diabetes.They are also good source of antioxidant flavonoid quercetin, which is found to have anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic functions.
They are also good in anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C and mineral manganese which is required as co-factor for anti-oxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. In addition, isothiocyanate anti-oxidants in them help provide relief from cold and flu by exerting anti-inflammatory actions.Onions are also good in B-complex group of vitamins like pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folates and thiamin. Pyridoxine or vitamin B-6 helps keep up GABA levels in the brain, which works against neurotic conditions.