Two amateur cooks explore the world of cooking for a Crohn's and Colitis diet

Autumn Gold Squash Soup

The cooler morning and nights are a reminder that Fall has truly arrived.  And as we transition from soft and luscious summer fruits and veggies to thicker autumn root produce, our vegetable peeler gets even more use (even though Marnina and I still use our peeler excessively during every season to remove the skin of all fruits and veggies).  Individuals with IBD can generally tolerate many autumn/winter fruit and veggie, as long as they are eaten without skin and seeds of course. They often scare people away because of their thick skins and odd shapes, but Marnina and I have never been deterred from cooking them, especially the butternut squash. We often roast butternut squash to bring out its natural sweetness, or puree them to make soups or casseroles.   It is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.  It is also an excellent source of vitamin A & vitamin E.

Note: Although squash is considered a veggie in cooking terms, botinally speaking, it is a fruit.

Most soups (or anything pureed) are IBD-friendly, except those with legumes or other high-fiber additions.  Some soups are very creamy and have lots of dairy, which you should avoid if dairy bothers you.  For those who are in a flare, doctors or nutritionists may recommend living on a liquid diet that incorporates some vegetable soups, primarily because these types of foods will not irritate the digestive tract.

After heeding the recommendation of the holistic nutritionist we spoke to recently, we decided to make an autumn veggie soup that consists of nothing but fresh produce.  The soup is mostly just a combination of a number of fruits and vegetables that are roasted and then pureed to create a soup that has a huge amount of nutritional benefits, but is also a low-residue, and relatively low-fiber soup.

The original Moosewood recipe calls for apple juice and tomato juice to be pureed with the baked fruit/veggies and the onion-carrot mixture, but we substituted 1 golden delicious apple and 2 vine-ripe tomatoes for the juice.  We did this substitution because fresh produce has many more phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals than juice.  The skin and pulp of the produce is where a lot of the beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals reside, so we wanted to reap the benefits of the real stuff (even though we still had to de-skin the apple and tomato before baking it for Marnina’s sake).

To make your life easier, try to buy small butternut squash because they are a lot easier to cut.  Once you cut up the butternut squash, onion, apple, and tomatoes, throw everything into a large baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat.  Cut the squash into small cubes so that it will take just as long as everything else to caramelize and brown.  Bake at 350, stirring occasionally, for approximately 35 minutes until tender.

For this recipe, we recommend adding more than ¼ teaspoon of some of the spices, depending on your own taste preferences.  We put in  ½ teaspoon of nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon because these spices augment the nutty and sweet flavor of the butternut squash, which was the predominant flavor in this soup.

Note: If you want to make this dish a complete meal, you could incorporate some pureed tofu into the soup for that added hit of protein (it contains all the essential amino acids that the human body can not produce on its own) and calcium.  Tofu is also rich in iron and B-vitamins, and also contains isoflavones, which help to prevent cancer and heart disease  As if that is not enough, the soy protein and isoflavones in tofu are considered  powerful cholesterol fighters. Tofu is believed to lower LDL and triglyceride levels too.

Pictures and recipe below:

Cooking the butternut squash on the stove

Sauteing the onions in the spices



The soup before being blended

The final product!

Ingredients:

1 medium to large butternut squash (about 2 cups cooked pulp)
1 large spanish onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, cinnamon, dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 medium carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1 cup apple juice
1 cup orange juice
salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

Bake or boil the squash.  To bake, halve the squash and scoop out the seeds.  Place the squash halves cut side down on an oiled baking sheet and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 until tender, about one hour. Scoop out the pulp and discard the skin.  To boil, peel the squash, halve it, and scoop out the seeds. Cut it into chunks and place them in a saucepan with water to cover.  Bring the water to a boil and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 min.  Drain and reserve the liquid.

Meanwhile, sauté the chopped onion in the oil with the nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, and bay leaves until the onion is translucent.  Add the diced carrot and celery and the water (if you boiled the squash, use the reserved liquid).  Cover and simmer until the carrots are tender.  Remove the bay leaves.

In a blender or food processor, puree the cooked squash, the onion-carrot mixture, and the juices in batches.  Gently reheat the soup.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from: Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

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Comments on: "Autumn Gold Squash Soup" (1)

  1. I, too, love butternut squash–and use it all the time in the fall! I have a squash, apple, carrot recipe I’ve used in the past, but I’ll have to give this one a try.

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