Saturday, October 22, 2011

Butternut Squash and Rosemary Leek Soup

I love autumn. I love the cool crisp air, the vibrant colors of leaves changing, and most of all- the food that comes with the season. I love all of the apples, pumpkin and winter squashes. I was honored when I was contacted about creating a recipe for the Home Grown Challenge 2.0. I was especially thrilled that I was going to get to be able to create it with local autumn ingredients. The Home Grown Challenge 2.0 is something that Luke from Antler Agency set out to do for the second year in a row. He is only eating food that he grew on his farm in Western Massachusetts for the month of October. To learn more about Luke's challenge, you can visit here.
 As I looked over the list of food that Luke grew on his farm, I immediately knew that I had to create something with butternut squash. With the fall in full swing, I wanted to create something warm and with a creamy texture, but without using dairy. This soup satisfied that need! Check out Luke's write up on my recipe and other local food bloggers' recipes- here.

Butternut Squash and Rosemary Leek Soup:

1 generous serving- or 2 appetizer sized servings (you can easily double if you want more)
3 Cups Butternut Squash
1/3 Cup Leeks
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary (extra sprig for garnish)
2/3 Cup Water
1/2 tsp Sea Salt (optional since not harvested from the farm!)

Preheat 425 degrees. 
Peel and roughly chop butternut squash. 
Chop Leek
Place butternut squash and leek on cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
After roasted, place roasted butternut squash, leek and rosemary (and optional salt) in blender. If using a Vitamix, the 2/3 Cup water can be warm water, (if regular blender, use boiling water). For Vitamix, blend on "hot soup" setting. For other blenders, blend for about 2 minutes. 
Pour out of blender (should be creamy consistency), garnish with extra rosemary sprig and ENJOY!!

Nutritional Benefits:
Butternut Squash:

-High in Vitamin B6: important for protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Important for manufacturing muscle and hemoglobin- both critical for improved athletic performance.
-high fiber
-Great source of folate.
-abundance of carotenoids
-antioxidant rich
-boosts the immune system
- high in vitamin C
-studies show it is anti-inflammatory 
-source of omega 3s (though not as high as fish/flax or walnuts- it is a decent source)
-high in potassium
-insulin regulating properties that help control blood sugar

-Part of the Allium family. Contains many of the same potent benefits as onions and garlic
-High concentration of folate- very important for cardiovascular health,  for DNA synthesis and cell division. Important for everyone, but especially for athletes who have rapid cell turnover due to the intense work and pounding that they body goes through.
-Anti-oxidant rich- protect body against pro-inflammatory free radicals
-Contains compounds that convert to allicin which has been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure as well as protects the body against blood clot formation.


-increase circulation to improve brain function and transport blood to muscles
-powerful stimulant for improving digestion, and helps to soothe upset stomachs, stomach cramps and bloating
-anti-inflammatory and been shown to reduce severity of asthma, as well as anti-cancer properties
-High level of anti-oxidant agents to reduce free radical activity
-stimulates the liver to work more efficiently to feel more healthy and energetic, stimulates liver to flush out toxins.
-anti-septic and anti-bacterial - kills harmful bacteria without wiping out good bacteria in the gut
-relieves aching joints and overall muscle pain, headaches and tension in the body

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the support Kate!

    Great write up, and it's very reassuring to see the health benefits of the individual ingredients in this meal.