Soup: Good for more than the soul!

October 16, 2012By 1 Comment

Among all the interactions I have with food on a daily basis (and sometimes conversations…like a crazy person), since I have been pregnant, I make eating healthy most of the time more than just an attempt, I make it a priority.  I have made an effort each day to eat at least one meal jam-packed with nutrients (all the other meals can still be nutritious, but they may be more bland or not-so nutritious foods, or whatever the baby is craving).  This meal is usually not only great for my blood sugars, but even better for my growing baby, who now, at 21 weeks, is gulping all the nutrients she can get from my diet.  These nutrient dense meals can be either a spinach salad, a seasonal vegetable cooked simply or eaten raw, a lean piece of fish, or lot’s of fresh fruit.  Being that it is the season of comfort foods, I tend to lean on my favorite fall comfort food: soup!

Some of my favorite soups are homemade, from my favorite recipe books.  Whether it’s a black bean soup, or a white bean and cabbage soup, these warm and comfy bowls fill me and my baby with loads of folate, antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals for an immune boost.  The added bonus is the low carb/high fiber content of certain soups make it a great choice to keep my blood sugars steady, while filling me up at the same time.  The one soup I have always had trouble mastering in the kitchen is Butternut Squash, this is by far my favorite soup.  I could never seem to get the right consistency or flavor from any of the recipes I have tried…until now!  Reading one of the many pregnancy magazines that I am now constantly glued too, I came across this Butternut Squash Soup recipe, and thought, why not, I’ll try yet another one.  This one is IT!  I made a few changes of my own, but here it is below, with the nutritional values.

Butternut Squash soup has the following great nutritional advantages: It is low in fat and saturated fat, and is high in ‘good fats’.  It is rich in fiber and in Vit A (a powerful anti-oxidant and cancer fighter).  B vitamins are plentiful as well in butternut squash, which is extra good during pregnancy to help ward off nausea and also decrease neural tube defects.

*Recipe taken from Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine, October 2012; Nutrition label created by me, using Esha software.

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup (makes 6 servings)

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 sage leaves, minced *note, choose fresh, not dried, sage, this adds great flavor!
  • 2 cups low-sodium/low-fat chicken broth
  • 1 tbs goat cheese (*pasteurized of course for all the pregers out there)
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.  Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Place squash, cut side down, in a baking dish and add half-inch of water.  Bake for 45 min, until tender.  Let rest until cool enough to handle, then scoop out the flesh, discarding the peel. Great idea:  Set aside 1/4 cup for your baby if you already have one and they are eating baby food…why not make it fresh and natural!

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute until translucent.  Add garlic and sage and saute 30 seconds longer, until fragrant.  Add butternut squash and chicken broth and stir, breaking up the squash with the back of the spoon; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Puree in a blender (or using an immersion blender), until smooth.  Return to pot and add goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, stirring over low heat, until cheese is melted and incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Top with an amaretti cookie for some flair (as my father-in-law does).

 

 

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  1. Beth Shapiro says:

    Butternut squash is one of my favorites…pregnant or not, this sounds like a great recipe. How can you go wrong with goat cheese too?!

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