Healthy On A Cold Night:
On those days when I get home and I just feel like curling up on the sofa, preferably near the fireplace – which I don’t have… – the best dinner is soup! It is light, easy to make and very healthy as a meal, provided you pay a bit of attention to the ingredients.
In fact, when I speak of “attention” I am thinking more about what I should include in terms of flavor, not so much on what I should exclude … Contrary to the usual, when talking about healthy eating!
A healthy diet is much more what you eat than what you avoid eating!
So… A healthy meal should have protein, vegetables, some complex carbohydrates and, above all, should give you pleasure.
During the winter, I also find it important to eat foods that protect me from the cold, in terms of immunity and fighting inflammation. Basically, I want to avoid diseases and keep my energy top – it’s in the winter that we prepare the bikini season, not forget that 😉
Pumpkin soup – antioxidant comfort in a bowl
Since there are whole pumpkins on sale in supermarkets I like to have one in the kitchen. I find it fun…
Pumpkins, in all its incarnations including butternut squash have lots of vitamin A and C, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber. They are a healthy way to increase our immunity against inflammation and free radicals.
On the other hand, they also have a positive influence on bowel transit, skin, and hair.
Using pumpkin in soups: boiled or roasted?
I usually cut the pumpkin into cubes and make the soup in the traditional way – cooked in water, with the remaining ingredients. As I made this soup over a weekend, I tried the roasted version. It takes longer but it does not give any work, it’s the oven that does the extra work.
Butternut Squash And Coconut Soup
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 zucchini, peeled and cubed
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 200 ml of coconut milk from a can
- 2 cm of ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
- 750 ml hot water
- Sea salt
Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC
Cut the butternut squash lengthwise and remove the seeds.
Place the squash on a lined oven tray, cut side down.
Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until soft.
Put the garlic, onion and zucchini in a pot (without any oil) and add about 500 ml of hot water.
Save the rest of the water to adjust the texture of the soup when you blend it.
Let it boil, then lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes.
When the squash is ready, remove the skin and add the pulp to the vegetables and water.
At this point also add the ginger, the coconut milk, the cider vinegar and seasonings (salt and pepper).
Blend everything with the stick blender.
Adjust the consistency with additional water, if needed.
Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
And now, the toppings!
Toppings on soup? Why?
Do it, it makes a world of difference!
The key to making a soup into a complete, healthy and very satisfying meal is to put together different textures, and also guarantee ALL the fundamental nutrients.
In this soup I added:
- Lightly toasted pumpkin seeds
- Cilantro leaves
- A drizzle of coconut milk.
Like this you get protein, healthy fats and flavor balance. The cilantro and seeds balance the sweet taste of the soup with its freshness and salty taste.
How about you, what toppings do you usually add to your soups?