About this Recipe
When the weather starts getting colder, there is nothing quite like a good squash soup to warm you up from the inside out. This squash and ginger healthy soup recipe is just the thing to try with buttercup squash, fresh ginger and sage for the perfect combination you'll be sure to love. With so many winter squashes available you might not know which ones to pick. Winter squash comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and some of them are so cute you'll want to try them all. The good thing about winter squash is that they have thick, tough shells that help to protect their sweet, rich flesh inside which makes them excellent for storing. No matter which variety of winter squash you choose, it's always good to pick one that feels heavy for its size. You'll also want to make sure to cook the squash properly so that you bring out its best flavor and texture. Butternut squash is one of the most popular of winter squash varieties. This versatile squash sautees quickly and is great for roasting. Butternut squash is good for purees and especially good when used in soup. Acorn squash is great for roasting, baking, mashing, sauteeing and steaming. Acorn is also versatile and is popular to roast with butter and little brown sugar for the kids to enjoy.
1. If you want the soup to be thicker, you could use more squash. This soup is delicious and has a nutty flavor.
You can also make this in a pot on the stove top. Cooking time will just be longer.
2. Squash skins are tough and can be hard to peel. If you cut the stems and bottom of the squash off first, then cut the squash in half, the pieces are easily to handle for peeling.
3. Use a small sharp paring knife.
2 cups (500 ml) squash (we used a buttercup winter squash) peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 sprig sage (2 leaves 2-4 inches long)
1 large onion (chopped into small pieces)
1 inch of fresh ginger that is about 2 inches wide (cut into 2 large pieces)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups (1 tetra pack, 1 liter) vegetable stock
olive or grapeseed oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (optional - do a taste test before adding sweetener)
1. Have ready the instant pot.
2. Peel and chop the squash into 1-inch cubes, remove the seeds.
3. You need at least 2 cups, our squash was a little larger and we used it all.
4. Cut a chunk about 1 inch in size off a piece of fresh ginger that is about two inches wide. Peel the ginger and cut into a few pieces.
5. Peel and chop the onion into small pieces.
6. Turn instant pot setting to sauté.
7. Add 2 tablespoons oil and the onions. Cook about 5 minutes until onions are soft.
8. Add about half of the squash cubes to the onion mixture and let cook until lightly browned. Add the ginger and sage. Add the broth to the pot along with the nutmeg and stir together.
9. Put the lid on and make sure valve in on seal position.
10. Select Pressure Cook or Manual and set the time for 10 minutes.
11. When time is up, open the lid using the quick release.
12. Quick release is done by pressing “Cancel” and then turning the steam release handle on the lid to the ‘Venting” position.
13. Use a damp dish cloth over the valve while it is releasing and be careful as it it scalding hot. Remove the lid.
14. Remove the sage pieces.
15. Use an immersion hand held blender to puree the soup. Do a taste test and season to your taste.
16. Put a tablespoon of olive or grapeseed oil in a skillet and roast the pumpkin seeds for a few minutes until they are nicely toasted.
17. If you find the squash soup is a little bitter add 1/2 cup maple syrup to the pot.
Delicata squash is small, oblong, and striped in bright yellow, dark green, and orange. The peel of this variety is thin and for this reason, will not store as long as other varieties of winter squash. Buttercup squash is the variety of squash that has a turban-like cap and is green in color. The cap is a good indicator of when the squash is ready for harvest, as the cap will be firm. If you find this variety with a soft cap, it is too old, and you should choose another. Stored squash in a cool, dry place, and it will keep for several months.
Spaghetti squash is all about its unique texture. True to its namesake, once cooked, the flesh inside this squash pulls apart into thick, slightly crisp, noodle-like strands. Spaghetti squash can be served with tomato sauce for easy dinner ideas and low calorie, gluten-free alternative.
There are plenty of other delicious ways to prepare and serve this unique squash to include roasting it and serving it with butter and salt. Spaghetti squash is a large square and can weigh between three to five pounds. Its skin is pale yellow-white, bright yellow or orange. When this squash is raw and cut in half, the squash looks similar to other squash; it is only when its cooked that when scraped out with a fork that it takes on the spaghetti-like appearance.
Hubbard squash is one of the largest winter squash varieties you will find (besides field pumpkins). Hubbard squash is often sold in seeded pre-cut chunks, a convenient option for easy dinner ideas. Hubbard squash is slightly tear-shaped and has dark green to pale grayish blue skins with a very sweet flesh with clear pumpkin flavor. Hubbards are best when roasted and seasoned with rosemary and black pepper. Another easy dinner idea for Hubbard squash is to roast them and then mash them with butter and warm spices such as cumin or nutmeg. This squash variety gets sweeter as it sits and its extra-thick skins help them to store through the winter up to five months if it is kept cool and dry.