#3 Retreat Recipe: Winter Warrior Squash Soup and Variations You'll Love

IMG_5015

Oh hey there, People. On this day, it's about -10 C, around 11 F.… the kind of temperatures that beg for comfort food,
and I'm the first one admit that I am a major wuss when it comes to winter, (let's just say I don't exactly leap out of bed!) Eating enough calories and getting enough protein can be challenging, but to lighten the load and avoid the heavier carbs, I love making soups that I can pop in the freezer and enjoy all winter long, right from the garden.

I certainly do know that not everyone has a gardenor has time for one, but you can still make this soup at home without having to traverse the planet for special ingredients.

I'm gonna PREACH IT! :O)

An important factor for me IS simple ingredients. My philosophy is that the less ingredients your food has, the less hidden chemicals it will have.
Yes, you can buy squash soup in jars and tetra-packs at the grocery store, and while they are convenient, theymay also contain a lot of unnecessary ingredients, plus packaging to recycle and might just go into the landfill. You can bypass all of that, because this soup is just so darned simple.
Medicine Hoop Recipe:
Winter Squash Soup
Ready?Pre-heat oven to Bake @350 degrees, and lightly grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil

Step 1) Take your squash and cut the tip off with the stem and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and the stringy pith in the center. Put the two halves with the cut side down on an oiled cookie sheet and bake them for 30-45 minutes. Test that they are done by poking with a knife. It should slide in and out easily. Take the pan out of the oven and after a minute turn the squash halves over and let them cool a little bit. You can turn the oven off when you're finished baking.

Step 2) While the squash are baking, take a half or whole onion and chop finely, and sautee lightly in 1 tbsp of coconut oil and a dash of sea salt. Stir the onions now and then and keep the temperature low so they soften but don't brown or burn. No need to hurry the onions…your squash needs time to bake!

Step 3)*Put on the kettle or another small pot and boil 3 or cups of water while everything's cooking.Take a spoon and scoop the cooked squash out of the shell into the soup pot with the onions. Put it all in there, scaping the inside of the skins well. If there are some harder bits, scoop them too the best you can. They will finish cooking in the soup. Stir the squash around with the onions, sautee lightly for a minute or two, on low temperature. You might even want to turn the heat off while you get your stock ready, if things are getting too browned.


Step 4) It's time to add the soup stock or just filtered water (unchlorinated.) Sometimes we have homemade stock in the freezer, and most of the time I use 2 heaping tbsps of powered organic soup stock that we buy in bulk, (yes, to avoid the unnecessary packaging and foil,) and stir into into 2 cups of boiling water from the kettle. Add that stock into your soup pot and stir. Lean in closer and have a smell of this yumminess. Add another 3 or 4 cups of water. If you don't have soup stock, then you can more sea salt, maybe some fresh ground pepper, mince a clove of garlic, and flavour it up. Let the soup simmer for 15-25 minutes, and use a masher to break up the squash and make the soup creamier as it simmers. You might want to let it cool and put it through the blender or food processor to make it smooth. This will impress your friends and family…they'll think you're a soup master and I find that kids, (big and small,) are more likely to try it if it's blended and isn't too chunky. This soup keeps well in the fridge, and when you are warming it up, try a variation below.

IMG_5016

Mmmmmm……. So, if you don't have your own squash mountain yet, go to the store and buy a fairly large organic squash, ( I recommend Butternut, Red Kuri, Buttercup (which are usually smaller so buy a few,) even Pumpkin tastes great as a savoury soup!) and make this soup for yourself as a tribute to healthy eating, AND being stealth in the kitchen.
That squash might seem rather expensive when the cashier weighs it up, so be ready for that and know that you're still saving money, because you'll make way more soup with that one squash than you'll get in a processed pre-made soup.
OKAY, enough preaching!
Here are some easy variations!
~add almond, cashew or raw milk
~stir in some coconut cream (mMMMMMM!)
~Squash-Ginger! Start with a small amount of some fresh minced ginger..careful; it is powerful (and VERY good for you!)
~Coconut-Curry… add your favourite curry powder or paste to taste with some of that coconut cream..yum!
These are just a few of the endless soups you can make with a squash! Happy souping and hooping! :O) xoJenniferMountain



Medicine Hoop Retreats, Argenta, BC, CANADA 250-366-0028 cookiehoops@gmail.com Jen Cookson 2013