Creamy and delicious, this butternut squash makes a delicious afternoon snack on its own or, combined with a salad for a Panera style lunch or dinner!
January is a time to organize, take stock of the past year, plan new goals, and eat warm, comforting foods. I have been busy cleaning out closets (incuding my blog props cabinet), doing a nutrition checkup on myself, planning out projects to tackle through out the year, and making lots of soup. That said, today’s post is one of my favorite new, warm creations: butternut squash soup. It’s higher in fiber and lower in fat than traditional cream soups. The star in this recipe is roasted butternut squash. It gets a boost of flavor with sautéed onions, chopped apple, fragrant spices, and maple syrup. I level up the protein blending it all with silken tofu in my Vitamix . The result is smooth and creamy bowls of goodness! The nutrition profile is posted below (to back up the above claim on fiber and fat). Take note of the protein as well.
Those of you who follow me know I care about muscle maintenance, and my lifestyle reflects my passion to enhance lean body mass and prevent sarcopenia (age related loss of muscle. ) While this may sound daunting , it’s really a simple lifestyle based on scientific principles that correlate with efforts to maximaze and maintain lean muscle mass. For example, I fuel my body with regular meals containing 20-30 grams of protein about every 4 hours. Small frequent feeings of protein are good for muscle! They allow for mazimal muscle protein synthesis.
So how does this relate to my soup?
It’s about timing. Who says you can’t snack on soup? This soup is my afternoon pick-up on a cold winter day. The protein and fiber in the soup help with satiety (keeping me feeling full and curbing my hunger until dinner). A big plus for weight maintenance or weight loss.
It’s about food pairing. This soup is delicious when combined with a salad for a Panera style lunch or dinner. Because I shoot for three regular meals containing 20-30 grams of protein, I add some lean protein to the salad. This week I’ve added baked chicken, cheese and nuts. Other options include baked fish, soy products, and / or whole grains.
This January, take stock of your past year. Is living a healthy lifestyle and being active important to you? If so, are you taking the steps necessary to improve your health and well being? What’s holding you back? Is it time for a nutrition check-up to see how the foods you eat are really stacking up?
Butternut Squash Soup
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: soup
• 1 large butternut sqash
• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 1 cup chopped sweet onion
• 1 small Honeycrisp apple, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
• 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root
• 14 ounce lower sodium vegetable broth
• 2 teaspoons maple syrup + some for garnish if desired
• 14.5 ounce package silken tofu
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Brush flesh with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon).
- Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and place squash flesh side down. Bake in oven for about 1 hour or until squash is soft and tender. Allow to cool and scoop fleshj out of skin. Discard skin and set roasted squash aside.
- Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a 5 or 6 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and apple;cook stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, roasted squash and maple syrup. Cook until smooth and heated through (about 5 minutes). Allow to cool (about 15 minutes).
- Transfer mixture to Vitamix blender , add tofu and salt . Process until smooth .
- Divide evenly between 4 bowls. Drizzle with maple syrup . Top with chopped pistachios.
- Serving Size: 1 .5 cups
- Calories: 290
- Sugar: 13 grams
- Sodium: 600 mg
- Fat: 13 grams
- Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams
- Unsaturated Fat: 3.15
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 37 gram
- Fiber: 9 grams
- Protein: 9 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 mg