Gingery Squash Soup

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Gingery Squash Soup

The perfect companion to a salad or a half sandwich. Peeled and cut fresh butternut squash, found in the refrigerated produce section of many grocery stores is a big timesaver. Or, if I buy a whole butternut squash, I sometimes roast it to avoid having to peel and cut it, which can be time-consuming (see How to Roast Winter Squash, below). For more Indian-style flavor, in addition to the spices listed, I add ½ teaspoon each roasted ground cumin and cardamom in Step 2. The soup, without the garnishes, freezes well.

Serves 6
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons garam masala or mild curry powder
1 cup (100 g) diced carrots
1¼ pounds (600 g) peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash (about 5 cups, 1.25 liters)
6 to 7 cups (about 1.5 liters) low-sodium fat-free stock
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Optional Garnishes
1/4 cup (20 g) toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup (15 g) cup fresh alfalfa sprouts

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, ginger, and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the ground ginger, cinnamon, garam masala, carrots, butternut squash, stock, and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the squash and carrots are tender.
  2. Remove the soup from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then puree in batches. Return the soup to the rinsed-out saucepan.
  3. Just before serving, bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Thin it with water, if necessary. Garnish with any of the optional garnishes and serve promptly.

118 Calories In | 1 serving without garnishes
Protein: 4 g; Carbohydrates: 16 g; Fat: 5 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sodium: 477 mg; Carb Choices: 1; Diabetic Exchange: 1 Starch, 1 Fat

118 Calories Out
Women: Walk: 29 minutes; Jog: 14 minutes
Men: Walk: 24 minutes; Jog: 11 minutes

Calorie Cuts
Reduce the vegetable oil to ½ tablespoon and save 15 calories and about 2 grams of fat per serving. Skip the optional seed garnishes; use only the fresh herbs and sprouts.

How to Roast Winter Squash

To roast a butternut squash (or any variety of winter squash), preheat the oven to 375ºF (190°C). Using a sharp knife, cut the squash lengthwise in half. Scoop out the seeds, then find a baking dish large enough to accommodate the squash. Line the baking dish with foil and grease it with canola oil or cooking spray. Season the flesh of the squash with salt and pepper and place it cut side down in the baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the flesh is tender. Check it by piercing with a wooden skewer or knife. Allow the squash to cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh and proceed with your recipe.