Antidote for Strung Out Children

Halloween night.  The kids are as high as kites on candy and the intoxicating freedom of running out on the streets after dark.  Late night and, if you live in our school district, school the next morning. (What were they thinking when they came up with that calendar?!) 

Some parents limit candy consumption others not so much…  In our house, the sweets eventually get sucked into some black hole or other, and we can get back to life as usual–without all the sugar-coating. 

Several years ago we joined our home school group for a Halloween potluck before heading out for treats.  This is my take on the recipe given to me by the party host, and it has been a fall favorite ever since. 

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup with Yogurt “Cream”

  • 2 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp. coriander
  • 5-8 cups stock or water, whatever will just cover all the vegetables
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup plain, low fat yogurt
  • 1 Tb. water
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • a good squeeze of fresh lime juice to taste

For simplicity’s sake (lazy cook that I am) I roast the squash in the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes or until a fork slides easily into the flesh.  Put it cut side up in a roasting pan in an inch of water.  Then it is simply a matter of just scraping the squash out when it’s soft.  Doing this early in the day or even the night before will make things even easier.  If you prefer, you can peel and chop–or get the pre-cut kind at the market, and cook with the carrots in the next step.

Saute onion in olive oil until soft, maybe 5 minutes or so.  Add carrots and saute for 5 more minutes.  Add spices and saute for yet another 5 minutes.

Add water/stock and bring to boil.  If using water, I’ll often throw in a bouillon cube.  Reduce heat and add roasted squash at this time. Simmer until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool until you can safely blend soup. 

Puree until desired texture is achieved.  For me, that means slightly chunky. Transfer to a pan and thin to desired consistency with additional water if needed.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

For yogurt “cream” whisk water into yogurt and season with salt.  Add some  finely minced jalapeno for added flavor if you like.  To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with yogurt.  Garnish with more cilantro.

This beautiful, colorful soup is loaded with vitamins A and C and is a good source of beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium.  Serve this, or any other wholesome, vegetable laden soup or stew, the night after Halloween to counteract the sugar demons.  A good night’s sleep wouldn’t hurt either.

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