Sunday, June 5, 2011

Simple Sweetness Squash Soup

This recipe, inspired by a Korean dish brought into Warren's Eastern Nutrition class by Pacific College student Minji Kwon, enhances the natural sweet flavors of winter squash (any squash with a tough outer rind and tender orange flesh). While the original dish used kabocha pumpkin, we opted for fresh, locally grown, organic butternut squash. Squashes vary widely in size, so keep in mind for one squash you may need to adjust the quantities of the other ingredients to get the desired flavors and consistency.

Simple Sweetness Squash Soup

1 winter squash of about 2 1/2 pounds, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 - 2 inch pieces
1 cup water
3 tablespoons sweet rice powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons (or to taste) rice syrup or another sweetener (such as honey or agave syrup)
1 - 2 tablespoons goji berries (optional)

1. Place the squash pieces into a pot with the water, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft.
2. Pour the contents of the saucepan into a blender and whir the mixture until smooth. (If you you have a small food processor, work in batches. If you don't have a blender, you can mash the squash with a fork.)

3. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. While stirring, sprinkle in the sweet rice powder, a little at a time so it doesn't clump, then add the salt, sweetener, and goji berries (if using). Bring back to a boil and continue to simmer, covered, for a couple minutes until the goji berries plump up.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine
In the Chinese tradition, pumpkin or winter squash is considered especially good for people with diabetes; the vegetable is described as sweet and neutral to warming, entering the Spleen and Stomach to strengthen the qi.


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