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Happy Soup for a Cold Dark Day

Tashi Loves Squashes

Fall brings short days and cool, dark weather.  Two weeks ago, as my emotions waded heavily through a cold and rain drenched day, I longed for a ray of sunshine that was no where to be found.  I felt trapped in a veil of endless grey.

Fortunately, I had on my kitchen counter several winter squashes.  One was radiating a brilliant orange vibe filled with energy and warmth.  Ah, bravo to these colorful edibles of Autumn that bring cheer and nourishment in their variety of fun colors and shapes. My savior was not a pumpkin, but a Red Kuri squash.  Originally from Japan, this squash has a rich nutty flavor and creamy mouth feel.  In general, winter squashes provide a gamut of nutrients including potassium, fiber, and beta-carotene.  The more orange the squash, the higher the beta-carotene content.
The presence of the orange hue in vegetables such as squashes, carrots, and peppers does not only signal the promise of better eyesight, and smooth skin through the presence of beta-carotene, but it’s vibrancy promotes energetic benefits.
According to experts in color psychology, orange is intellectually stimulating, triggers warmth,  and heightens enthusiasm.

You can bake squashes in the oven, although I find that it can be difficult to cut it in half when raw.
Here’s my tip on how to deal with a hard to cut open squash:
Steam it whole for about 10 minutes until the hard shell softens, then remove from the steamer and cut in half.  Scoop out the seeds and continue to steam or bake until the flesh is tender.

Happy Soup with Oyster Mushrooms

 

Happy Soup

2 cups Red Kuri squash, cooked
(see end of post for more info.)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chicken broth, or veggie stock
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
(see end of post for benefits of nutritional yeast)
Celtic sea salt
Dash of cayenne

Simply place all the ingredients in a blender and allow it to whirl until well mixed.  Adjust seasoning to your excellent taste.
Pour into a pot and re-heat for a hot & hearty repast.
(Add cooked chicken pieces or sausage chucks for a protein boost.)
Makes 2 servings

Garnishing ideas:
sauteed oyster mushrooms, toasted pumpkin seeds, grated parmesan cheese, a dollop of yoghurt, sprig of fresh cilantro

The soup smiled back

For love of food & friends,

Karen

Want to know more about the Red Kuri squash?  Here’s a great site:
http://www.melissas.com/Products/Products/Red-Kuri-Squash.aspx

Benefits of nutritional yeast:
http://www.radiantlifecatalog.com/product/NUTRITIONAL-YEAST/superfoods-supplements

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