I love it when the leaves turn color in October and the outside world is beautifully decorated in orange hues.
If you know me you know that I love everything orange. The Food Truth logo is orange, I wear orange scarves most days and at home I cherish my orange crystal chandelier (a gift from a beloved friend). It's the backdrop for my interview in the CarbLoaded, A Culture Dying to Eat. You can see it HERE (shameless plug).
If you've read my story, you also know that I had my spleen removed as a child and have immune system challenges because of it. I recently learned that my favorite foods are especially nourishing to the spleen and help overcome anemia, a persistent problem for me. The innate wisdom of the body prompting us to seek out what it needs is remarkable!
Orange foods like pumpkins and winter squashes are loaded with nutrients that boost your immune system just when you need it, as the seasons change and the temperatures drop.
Beta-carotene in carrots and other orange foods onvert to vitamin A to keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp. These are also high in vitamin C and a good source of insoluble fiber.
Powerful carotenoids, the compounds that give pumpkins and squash their bright orange color, keep cancer cells at bay and can help keep your skin smooth and wrinkle-resistant. So many reasons to eat orange food!
Here's a simple soup to bring this color into your life and fire up your immune system for the cold weather challenges ahead.
SPICY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH GINGER
1 butternut squash (or a small pumpkin)
3 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
1 (2 inch) knob fresh ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
dash of cinnamon to taste
fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 quart chicken bone broth, vegetable stock or water
Optional: toasted pumpkin seeds or a combination of nuts & seeds.
Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and bake cut side down on a parchment-lined, oiled baking sheet for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the onion, garlic and ginger.
Add 1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil to a soup pot and cook the onion, garlic and ginger until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the spices and stir once or twice.
Add the broth and bring to a boil briefly. Turn off the heat, let cool a few minutes and then add to a blender, blend smooth, and return to the soup pot.
When the squash is cooked through (poke it with a fork, it should be very soft), remove it from the oven, cool for 15 minutes and then scoop the flesh out to the blender. Blend until smooth, adding some of the soup as needed. Add the puréed squash to the soup and combine thoroughly. Heat the soup through and stir in the lemon juice.
Serve, topped with toasted nuts, pumpkin seeds, or both!
I'm so lucky to have this wonderful no grain "granola" which made the perfect crunchy accent. Check it out, you can order some online!