Butternut squash and pistachio soup
I love butternut squash soup and for years, I’ve been cooking a delicious version of this dish with an ingredient that complements the butternut squash beautifully: chestnut! It’s one of my favourite meals in autumn and in winter. This deep orange coloured soup warms and nourishes the body perfectly when the weather is cold…
But today, we are here to talk about butternut squash and pistachio soup. I first saw this combination in the menu of a Moroccan themed pop up restaurant in Hastings called Fatima’s Kitchen towards the end of last year. To me, it was the star of the meal I had that night. Pistachio brings a softer and more subtle flavour to the soup compared to chestnuts – which gives it a bolder (more in your face) taste!
When I returned to Kingston, I started writing ideas for a recipe. This resulted in a soup so rich in flavour I knew I would share it with you. Hence, our blog now has a new category called Eating Qi where I will not only share healing recipes, but also explain their energetic properties. I hope this will be as fun for you as it will surely be for me!
2 small to medium onions
5 cloves of garlic
1 tsp whole natural salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
1 large butternut squash
deseeded and cut in cubes
125g unshelled & unsalted pistachio
Slow cooked chicken bone broth
(or commercial broth of your choice)
Method (4-6 bowls)
In a pan (if transferring to Crockpot later) or casserole, heat some oil.
Once the chosen oil is sizzling gently, add 2 onions and 5 cloves of garlic and reduce the heat.
Cook until the onions are softened.
Add the salt, pepper, mild chilli powder and cumin powder to the onions and garlic.
Mix well over the heat to release the flavours
Then transfer this mixture to the Crockpot if you are slow cooking.
Put the broth in the pan where the onions and garlic mixture was cooked and give a good stir, so that the broth takes all the flavour that was left in that pan.Then, transfer the broth to the Crockpot. The broth should cover all the ingredients.
Cook in the Crockpot, over the lowest setting, for 4 hours.
Cover all the ingredients with the broth.
Bring the broth to a boil, then cover and simmer for 25 mins.
Once cooked, the cubes of butternut squash break apart easily when a fork is inserted in them and the pistachios are very tender.
And in the blender!
Blend this cooked mixture in a blender. Put just enough broth to get a silky, smooth and creamy texture. The rest of the broth can be used for another meal – I usually keep it to cook a very informal and highly improvised risotto!
Serve in a bowl with a good squeeze of lime juice. This will really bring the flavours forward, especially if this soup was slow cooked with a chicken bone broth…
I would serve this soup with a few slices of sourdough bread accompanied by an extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip… or a bit of raw butter from grass fed cows!
This soup may benefit people with chronic tiredness, fatigue, tired limbs, cold hands and feet, loss of appetite, abdominal distension after eating, indigestion with loose stools.
This naturally creamy soup is very easy on the digestive system. Like its main ingredient, it has a warming thermal nature that tonifies the Qi of the Spleen and the Stomach. In other words, it improves digestion, helps the body extract and absorb nutrients, increases Blood and Qi circulation and helps to build up our energy levels.
Pistachios have blood cleansing properties – so do limes! Pistachios also moisten the Lungs (good for a dry throat) and lubricate the intestines (may improve bowel movements).
The freshly ground black pepper, cumin and chilli support the energetically warming effect of the butternut squash.
Onions, garlic and cumin promote Qi circulation while Chilli increases blood circulation and stimulates the digestive system.
Finally, the teaspoon of salt brings to this warming soup its cooling Yin energy, which stimulates the Kidneys and moistens gently the body.