The crisp cooler air tends to leave most of us craving warm comfort foods, and what’s more comforting than a hot bowl of roasted squash soup?
Yes, ‘tis the season for winter squash! There are so many different varieties, it can be almost overwhelming but below is a quick guide to the most common types found in our local stores.
One of the more common winter squash is the butternut squash. It is larger than most other varieties and shaped like an oversized pear or a bell. Butternut squash has a thick butterscotch yellow skin and inside is a bright orange flesh. They’re easier to peel than most winter squash and are a great addition to soups as they add a delicious creamy texture without having to use heavy cream.
Next on our list, the spaghetti squash! Spaghetti squash gets its name because once cooked, the bright yellow flesh is scooped out and looks like little strands of spaghetti noodles. All you need to do is slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, bake it in the oven and when done, you have “vegetable noodles”. Making this squash a great alternative for those who love pasta dishes!
The acorn squash looks like an acorn. The skin is usually a dark forest green with some orange throughout and when sliced, you see a beautiful bright orange flesh. Because this vegetable is difficult to peel, the best way to prepare an acorn squash is to halve it, scoop out the seeds and roast. Once roasted, you can use half the squash as a bowl and serve it with different fillings, like a tasty rice and mushroom stuffing with sage and thyme.
And lastly, we have the pumpkin, which is probably the most recognized winter squash of all. The pumpkin has a bright orange skin, light orange flesh and is so versatile when used for cooking. Pureed, it can be added to soups, your favorite pancake mix, risottos, oatmeal and even as a filling for ravioli.
Now that you’re an expert on winter squash, try this easy Squash and Miso Soup. Don’t have any miso paste? Simply substitute the miso for your favorite curry paste and you’ll have a completely different but also very delicious curried soup.
Squash and Miso Soup
1 butternut squash, halved, seeds removed, peeled and sliced in ½ inch thick pieces
1 large white turnip (about 400g), peeled and cut in large pieces
2 – ½ tbsp (32 mL) white miso paste (or curry paste)
1 – ½ tbsp (22 mL) fresh lemon juice
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp (25 mL) PC Unsalted Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1. Place squash, turnip and 4 ½ cups (1.25 L) of water in large sauce pan; bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Transfer 1 cup (250 mL) of liquid in small bowl; whisk in miso until blended. Return to saucepan.
2. Mash some of the squash mixture using wooden spoon to thicken soup. Bring to a boil to heat through. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Ladle soup into bowl; garnish with onions and pumpkin seeds.
Per serving: 100 calories, fat 2 g (0.3 g of which is saturated), sodium 270 mg, carbohydrate 19 g, fibre 5 g, protein 4 . High in fibre. Source of Vitamin A and C.
Recipe source: pc.ca
Jillian Reid is a Registered Dietitian with Atlantic Superstore in Amherst, Nova Scotia.
Have a nutrition question? Want to book a free appointment or educational store tour for yourself or your community group or business? Contact me by phone at (506) 866-2115 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.