Winter squash season is in full bloom! This dish incorporates the almighty butternut squash, while sneaking in a bit of coconut to enhance the flavor and healing properties. This soup recipe is a nourishing, vitamin and electrolyte packed powerhouse, great for the fall and winter seasons. Butternut squash is loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants. The top nutrients for this winter squash include Vitamin A (carotenoids), Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, 5 and 6; Vitamin K, folate, manganese, copper, fiber and potassium. By having a bowl of this nutritious soup, you will be getting your daily intake for many of these nutrients.
The anti-aging, energy and electrolyte-boosting young coconut that is also involved in this recipe, brings in a world of nutrition all its own! The young coconut is well known for its electrolyte properties; however, these eastern treasures are also loaded with Vitamins B, cytokinins (antioxidants), potassium, amino acids, bioactive enzymes, healthy fats and healthy protein. These two star ingredients are then mixed with many essential digestive enhancing spices, allowing all of the nutrients to be fully absorbed in the body. Wow! That’s a lot of goodness in one bowl of soup!
- Glass baking dish
- Sauté pan
- Medium-large soup pot
- Large knife to cut the squash and young coconut
- Cutting board
- Large butternut squash
- 1 large young coconut* or 2 small ones
- ½ of a sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp of coconut oil
- Fresh ginger root, about a 2 inch cube ,finely grated**
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/8 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/8 tsp brown mustard seeds
- Pinch of cayenne (optional)
- Himalayan or sea salt to taste
- Black pepper, fresh ground to taste
- 2 green onion tops, chopped for garnish
- Pinch of shredded coconut for garnish
*Young coconuts can be purchased at Whole Foods Market, Asian markets, Indian markets and International food shops.
**Fresh ginger is recommended, but can be replaced by 1 tsp of dry ginger if needed.
Roast the Squash:
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Cut the butternut squash evenly down the center going the long way.
3. Remove the seeds and place the squash, cut side down, into the baking dish.
4. Add a splash of water and then place in the oven, cooking for about 1.5 hours or until the squash is easy to pierce all the way through with a fork.
5. While the squash is cooking, begin the other instructions listed below.
6. Once the squash is fully roasted, remove the meat from the skin and place in the blender.
Young Coconut Preparation:
1. Cut the coconut using a very sharp knife just so the very top is cut off. The end result should cut open just enough of the coconut shell to get out the liquid and allow space for a spoon to remove all of the coconut meat inside.
2. Once the coconut is cut, place to the side until it is ready to be added to the blender.
NOTE: Once it is time, you will empty the coconut water into the blender and then remove the meat with a strong metal spoon. If the coconut you have chosen does not contain much meat. Add an extra Tbsp. of coconut oil and 1 Tbsp. of shredded coconut to the blender before blending.
1. In a large sauté pan, place the coconut oil on medium heat. Once melted add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and black pepper. Roast these spices while stirring for about one minute or until the seeds start to pop.
2. Add the finely chopped sweet onion and sauté for about 5-6 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent. Stir every 1-2 minutes during this time. Once done, remove from heat.
3. In a strong blender, place the roasted butternut squash (skin removed). Then add the coconut water, coconut meat (or 1 Tbsp of shredded coconut and coconut oil), cinnamon, cardamom, grated ginger, turmeric, salt and cayenne (optional) to the blender. Also add HALF of the sautéed onions, while placing the other half aside for later.
4. Make sure the blender is not too full! In order to prevent a huge mess, only fill the blender ¾ of the way. Blend in several batches if needed.
5. Cover the blender securely and then blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes. The mixture should be completely smooth with no chunks or strings.
6. Add the blended mixture to a large soup pot. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed.
7. Place the mixture on low-medium heat. Add the remaining onion/spice sauté and continue to warm the blended soup for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
8. Once served, sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with the green onion chives and shredded coconut.