There’s nothing like a bit of spice to make even the most bland and unappetizing dish palatable. Such bright and exciting flavors each can impart into whatever food you choose, once you discover the difference they make, it’s near impossible to leave them out next time. Variety is the spice of life, and life itself happens to owe a whole lot to the myriad of spicy options out there.
Flipping through holistic magazines at this time of year, you’re bound to find intriguing articles about spices and their healing properties. I personally find this concept fascinating and completely logical, as it’s indisputable that what we eat has a massive impact on our health, even excluding fat and calories from the equation. While it’s true that certain spices in large quantities may upset the most sensitive stomachs, each of those individual exotic flavors in moderation can be extremely beneficial.
One aromatic root in particular has caught my interest right now, and that happens to be ginger. It is the perfect addition to both sweet and savory, always dependable to create a tantalizing depth of flavor, but it can also be a quiet curiosity in the background if you don’t want it to be the main focal point. Wonderfully versatile, ginger is also very useful if you’re feeling slightly under the weather. It can help aid digestive issues, especially nausea, and is reputed to work miracles colds, flu’s, and fevers, as well as I long list of other conditions.
With this knowledge in mind, I set out to concoct a healing soup for a friend suffering with a heavy head cold. I was careful to balance everything out in such a way that it could speed the sickness away as fast as possible, and still be a joy to consume. Ginger of course needed to be included, and I found that miso was also said to boost the immune system, making for a powerful team. Continuing with more asian-themed ingredients, edamame found their way into my pot, bringing with them vital protien which may be difficult to consume in adequit quantity when one’s appetite rebells. Butternut squash brings in a thick creamy texture without being unhealthy or overly-rich. Relatively low in fat so as not to provoke an uneasy stomach, this soup is an easy comfort food for any occassion, delicious for even the healthy to enjoy. Do yourself a favor when the winter chill gets to you – Have yourself a bowl of this soup and send that illness packing.
Healing Squash Soup
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Pound Butternut Squash, Peeled and Diced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger, Grated
3 Tablespoons Dark Miso Paste
2 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Edamame
2 or 3 Scallions
Begin by tossing your chunks of squash with the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in 1 1/2 cups of the water along with the grated ginger and bring it all up to a boil. Bring the heat back down and simmer for approximately 30 minutes with the lid on.
The squash should be very tender and yeild to gentle prodding. Throw in the miso paste and salt (Be sure to taste and make sure it isn’t too salty though, you may prefer less!), and whip out that immersion blender, OR puree the contents of your pot in batches using a traditional stand mixer. Blend until satisfactorily smooth and add in the final cup of water, along with your edamame and scallions. Dish it out and watch your sickness disappear!