Anti Inflammatory Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

Wheat free * Dairy free * Gluten free * Vegetarian (variation) * Vegan (variation) * Parve * Paleo *

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I told you we were going to make use of last week’s Beef Bone Broth and here it is…

So,to promote this blog, I have become a Tweeter.  Though I was not interested in Twitter for many years, I now find it’s kind of fun.  One day while perusing the various tweets, I came upon one by Ricki Heller (whose tweets I generally find interesting) that you  can read here:  http://www.rickiheller.com/2014/06/9-common-herbs-spices-that-reduce-inflammation/  As I read the article I kept thinking, these are all fairly compatible flavors and I can probably do something with them.  And so began this soup.

First let me talk a little about what I’ve learned about an anti inflammatory diet (but am not an expert on).  I’m doing this in italics so those of you not too interested can just skip over it.    Many experts in the health field agree that inflammation in the body causes/leads to a vast array of illnesses ranging from heart disease to diabetes to Alzheimer’s to cancer to chronic pain to arthritis, Parkinson’s, aging, and the list goes on and on.  For me, following the Paleo/Perfect Health Diet (both anti inflammatory diets) has resulted in:  much more energy, clearer thought processes, better moods, less aches and pains, smaller tummy, and general sense of well being.  A friend of mine was suffering from such severe neck pain he was on the verge of having surgery.  After switching to an anti inflammatory diet not only did he not need surgery but the neck pain is gone completely.  These are pretty impressive results.

The theories behind diets that call themselves anti inflammatory are all over the place and contradict one another. Some of the better know ones are: 

Paleo, Primal, Caveman, and Wheat Belly and Perfect Health Diet (PHD) tend to agree on the basic theory that all grains, beans, and sugar (and processed foods in general) should be eliminated from the diet.  PHD varies in that it allows white rice and considers it a “safe” starch.  The others vary in how much dairy is or is not allowed and other details.  Most agree that the best oils to use are coconut and olive.

 Dr. Andrew Weil‘s diet is pretty different.  He created an updated food pyramid that also is supposed to be anti inflammatory but does not eliminate grains and soy.

The Mediterranean Diet is another diet with anti inflammatory properties.  In short the basis of the diet is:  Eat like they do in Mediteranean countries.  There is also a food pyramid for this diet.  Here’s an article if you want to learn more http://oldwayspt.org/resources/heritage-pyramids/get-started-go-med

A little more complicated is the place that omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids play in inflammation.  The short and overly simplified version is:  omega 3’s reduce inflammation and too much omega 6’s causes inflammation.  Here’s an article that goes more deeply into it:  http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2013/april/the-omega-balance-getting-smart-about-inflammation/

Back to food…I initially tested this soup using carrots – and it came out delicious, but I was curious how it would work with butternut squash and it was also delicious.  I chose the squash because it is more anti inflammatory than the carrots (had a better omega 3 to omega 6 ratio).

Several people have tasted this soup and all have wanted the recipe – so here it is.  Enjoy it in Good Health!

Anti InflammatorySpiced Butternut Squash  Soup

Since both red and black pepper are anti inflammatory, the spicier you can stand the soup, the better it is for you (unless it upsets your stomach, of course)

1 small butternut squash

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup sliced leeks

2 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon turmeric (or more if you don’t mind the bitterness)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Ground black pepper and/or cayenne pepper to taste

4 cups broth (preferably homemade beef bone broth but any broth with be fine – including vegetable to make this a vegan soup)

2 tablespoons chopped mint

2 tablespoons chopped basil

1 tablespoon honey or to taste

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

Salt to taste

1.  Peel and cube the butternut squash (you want 3 cups of cubes)

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2. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 2 minutes.

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2. Remove from heat and stir in the turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, and black and/or red pepper until absorbed.

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Add the broth and stir, making sure to incorporate the spices that may stick to the bottom of the saucepan.

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Bring to a boil. Add the squash and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 to 30 minutes or until squash is tender.

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Stir in the mint, basil and rosemary. Simmer 5 minutes longer.

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Place soup in food processor or blender and process until smooth.

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Pour into bowls and garnish with herbs, if desired.

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Makes: 4 cups

4 thoughts on “Anti Inflammatory Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

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