Harvesting fall’s bounty: Apple, ginger and butternut squash soup, gluten free. 

As the unmistakable sights and sounds of autumn fill the fresh, crisp New England air, and bright oranges, yellows and auburn hues become a sight to behold on highways and winding country roads, the mind turns to comfort foods that are warm and soothing to the palate. Visions of heart warming soup come to mind and taking a cue from nature, I feel the urge to incorporate her gorgeous colors into my home-made meals.

Apple-ginger-butternut squash soup. © Copyright, September 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Apple-ginger-butternut squash soup. © Copyright, September 2015, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

This apple-squash soup is one such nature inspired concoction that blends autumn’s bounty and breath-taking colors into a heart warming soup that’s sure to please the taste buds and entice your guests to flock back for seconds. Beware! The ginger and red pepper flakes add a spicy punch to the silken texture of this soup. “Nutrilicious”, and only 130 calories per 1 cup serving!!! So go ahead and indulge!

Lactose free version of apple-ginger-squash soup. © Copyright, September 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

Lactose-free version of apple-ginger-squash soup. © Copyright, September 2015, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

Servings: 6

Serving size: 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups butternut squash, chopped to a 1/2 ” dice
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple  peeled, cored and chopped to a 1/2 ” dice, about 1 cup.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)*
  • 2-3 tbsp basil, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 3.5  cups vegetable broth, gluten-free. (You may also use chicken broth instead).
  • 2.5  tbsp olive oil

For the garnish:

  • 1 small Macintosh or other regular apple, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated smoked gouda or other shredded cheese

Method: 

Butternut squash is sauteed with fresh ginger and chopped onions. © Copyright, September 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Figure 1: Butternut squash is sauteed with fresh ginger and chopped onions. © Copyright, September 2015,  Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

  1. Heat oil in a 3 quart sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add minced ginger, and sauté until ginger sizzles, about a minute or so. Adjust heat to prevent burning.
  2. Add chopped onions and sauté for 5-10 minutes until soft and transparent.
  3. Add squash and stir well into the onion ginger mixture. (Figure 1)

    As the squash begines to soften, add the diced tart apple. © Copyright, September 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

    Figure 2: As the squash begins to soften, add the diced tart apple. © Copyright, September 2015, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

  4. As squash begins to soften, add the diced, tart apple, blending well with the squash in the pan. (Figure 2)
  5. Add spices, salt and basil into above mixture, stirring for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Cover pan with a lid and allow apple and squash to simmer on low heat until both begin to lose their shape and form a homogeneous mass, about 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. (Figure 3).

    Apple and squash are simmered until they blend to from a homogenous mass. © Copyright, September 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

    Figure 3: Apple and squash are simmered until they blend to form a homogeneous mass. © Copyright, September 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

  7. Add 2.5 cups of vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring frequently to prevent vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  8. Cover and allow to simmer again on low heat until vegetables are cooked through.
  9. Using a hand blender, break up any lumps, until you have a fairly smooth puree.
  10. Alternatively, you may also pour the contents (after cooling), into the jar of an electric blender and puree until smooth.
  11. Add remaining 1 cup of broth to pureed mixture until desired “soup” consistency is reached.
  12. Taste for seasoning.
  13. Ladle into individual bowls and top with a sprig of basil, 1-2 tsp freshly grated cheese and the thinly sliced apple.

    Garnish soup with sliced apple, basil and fresh shredded cheese. © Copyright, September 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

    Garnish soup with sliced apple, basil and freshly shredded cheese. © Copyright, September 2015, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE.

*Use the red pepper flakes only if you don’t mind the heat and pungent flavor it imparts to the soup. If you don’t care for spice, you may want to delete it or use only a pinch.

A Registered Dietitian’s tip:

Anti-inflammatory agents: I have used turmeric and ginger in this recipe because of their potent anti-inflammatory potential. Butternut squash is abundant in an antioxidant called beta carotene, which is a Vitamin A precursor in the body. Antioxidants help fight free radicals that can cause oxidative damage to the body, eventually leading to chronic disease.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A was the first fat-soluble vitamin to be recognized, and has been a source of intrigue to researchers because of it’s versatile nature and ability to induce severe deficiency effects.1  Vitamin A plays a key role in promoting a healthy skin, vision, immune system, growth and bone health1  

Fiber: Butternut squash is also an excellent source of fiber, and a variety of minerals such as potassium. If you wish to enhance the fiber content even more, add left-over cooked, wild rice, about 1 cup. Adding cooked quinoa would raise both the protein and fiber content. For a “complete” gluten free, vegetarian meal, add 1 cup of wild rice + 1 cup of red kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained to the above mixture and heat through.

  1. Whitney and Rolfes, Understanding Nutrition. Sixth Edition.
Nutrient Analysis source: Myfitnesspal.com. Myfitnesspal.com is an independent website that is not affiliated with this blog in any way.

Nutrient Analysis source: Myfitnesspal.com. Myfitnesspal.com is an independent website that is not affiliated with this blog in any way.

Disclaimer: This blog is strictly for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or dietitian for recommendations tailored to your unique needs.

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About Sangeeta Pradhan RD, CDE

Hi there! Welcome to my blog! If you are confused with all the conflicting messages you get bombarded with every day on carbs, fats, proteins, gluten and anything you can think of related to nutrition, look no further! The purpose of my blog is to cut through all this clutter, utilizing scientific, evidence based guidelines to help you, the consumer, navigate the complex, dietary landscape, and thus empower you to make informed decisions.
This entry was posted in Get cooking, Soups and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Harvesting fall’s bounty: Apple, ginger and butternut squash soup, gluten free. 

  1. Thanks for such an informative post and presentation of well structured recipe on apple and the nutrition table is the icing in the cake.
    I loved this line “This apple-squash soup is one such nature inspired concoction that blends autumn’s bounty and breath-taking colors into a heart warming soup that’s sure to please the taste buds and entice your guests to flock back for seconds….”it sums it all.
    😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda says:

    I agree! I love using the bounty of the Fall harvest! I just made some butternut squash bisque! Oh so yummy! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Nihar!!! I hope you try this recipe:))

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are more than welcome, Linda! Thanks for your input. Looks like you share my love of cooking with fresh, fall produce:))

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes will try it.
    😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If your objective was to make me totally hungry, mission accomplished!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. smilecalm says:

    looks yummy!
    i’ll get a squash
    and try it out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is just as much to entice the appetite as to show folks how easy it is to make a dish that is delish and nutritious all at once. Thank you for your great feedback!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you so much! Let me know how it turns out:))

    Liked by 1 person

  10. yes, one switches to those types of vegetables during autumn, been like this since I became vegetarian—love your blog, Namaste

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for the lovely compliment and for stopping by-😊! Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You make it look easy and elegant! Fall is the time for lovely soups like this one. Thanks for the inspiration1

    Liked by 1 person

  13. merrildsmith says:

    It looks good. I love the idea of the apple garnish. I’m a fan of the sweetness of fall fruit and vegetables mixed with the spicy. I will have to try this one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you; the recipe is surprisingly simple to make actually! Thank you for your comments and for stopping by:)

    Like

  15. Thank you so much. The red pepper flakes add quite a zing. You may halve the amount if desired, as the ginger add some spice too. Let me know how it turns out. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. merrildsmith says:

    I’d be more likely to add more red pepper and ginger. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Interesting! Clearly you like spice like I do-now I would be really curious to find out how it turned out:))

    Like

  18. masgautsen says:

    This looks really lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This is my favorite soup!! ❤ Thank you for liking my blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thanks so much! Hope you try it!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you so very much! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  22. You’re most welcome! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. D.G.Kaye says:

    Hi Sangeeta. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe. I’ve never made this soup with the apple, I’m going to have to, especially yummy for gluten/dairy free people like me. And I noticed I wasn’t getting any of your posts, so hopefully I will now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Debby,
    Do let me know how it turns out…it’s spicy, so I would reduce the ginger and red pepper flakes a little..enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. D.G.Kaye says:

    Hi Sangeeta, funny you should say that because I fully intend on doing exactly that! LOL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Mary Rowen says:

    Dear Sangeeta, this looks so delicious. I once had a squash soup at Spring Street Natural in New York that was a little like this, I think. I am hoping to make this over the weekend and will let you know what my family thinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Hi Mary, Thank you so much:) Just a note of caution…this soup is spicy!! I am used to spice but I would still recommend cutting the ginger in half and reducing the red pepper flakes to 1/2 the quantity, and taste and add more if need be. Hope you like it, let me now. Thanks for stopping by:))!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Mary Rowen says:

    Ah, thanks, Sangeeta! Will do. My kids aren’t big fans of spice. I, on the other hand, love spicy things, so maybe I’ll add a little more red pepper to mine at the table.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Sounds like a good plan:)

    Liked by 1 person

  30. leggypeggy says:

    I make a soup very similar to this, but never thought to include ginger. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. The ginger adds an unexpected kick, but would start with 1/2 the amount called for unless you have a very high threshold for spice. Thanks for stopping by, Peggy. Enjoy:)

    Like

  32. leggypeggy says:

    We adore spice, so I’d use the full amount. Still surprised I never thought of using it before.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Peggy, Indian cuisine uses garlic and/ or ginger in abundance, so I instinctively reach for these ingredients… Now even more so, given their anti- inflammatory benefits😊!

    Like

  34. leggypeggy says:

    I make a variety of Indian dishes, and go through a lot of ginger and garlic, as well as the range of other Indian ingredients. Wonderful flavours, and so glad they are good for you too!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Yes, that’s kind of cool, isn’t it? Good nutrition is one thing, but if food tastes bland or mediocre, no one’s going to want to eat it, right?! You have to make it flavorful too:))

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Yum! Serving lunch to friends on Friday. Might try this out on them.

    Like

  37. maskednative says:

    Hi Sangeeta, thank you for your ‘likes’ on my blog. I will try this lovely sounding recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Thanks, JB. As noted, this recipe is unusually spicy , so use 1/2 the ginger and red pepper flakes that the recipe calls for. Your friends could always add more red pepper at the table if need be😊. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. You are more than welcome! Unless you have a high threshold for spice as I do, you may want to reduce the ginger and red pepper by half😊 , then season to taste Thank you for stopping by😊.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. maskednative says:

    Thanks for the tip Sangeeta, will try it as it is first.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Mary Rowen says:

    Hi Sangeeta! Just wanted to let you know that I ended up making this soup as an appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner. Doubled the recipe, and everyone loved it except my father-in-law, who’s one of the pickiest eaters on the planet. I used 3/4 tsp of red pepper, and although some people thought it was a little too spicy, they ate it anyway. I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to make it again. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s a wonderful recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Hi Mary, Thanks for the excellent feedback. The soup is definitely spicy, hence I had made the red pepper flakes optional. The ginger also gives it a kick, so I tell folks who like their soups on the milder side to cut the amount by half. My pumpkin sage recipe also uses fall produce, but is less spicy. Have a healthy and happy holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year!

    Like

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