Bring the colors of fall to your food! This time of year I can’t get enough dark leafy greens and deep orange winter squashes. This simple soup brings together a few of my favorite ingredients and is perfect on a cool day. It also has immunity benefits from the inclusion of “trinity” herbs (onion, garlic and ginger,) coconut oil, shiitake mushroom, and the probiotics of miso. A bowl or two is tasty defense against seasonal flus, coughs and sniffles. This soup can be a meal onto itself or you can serve it with warm rice, quinoa, hearty bread or as the first course of a more elaborate meal.
Winter Squash Soup
Prep time: 45-50 minutes
In a large pot combine:
6-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 large kabocha or red kuri squash, seeded, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
2 leeks or 1 large yellow onion chopped
2-inch knob of ginger peeled and sliced
1 tsp chinese five-spice powder
1/4 tsp cayenne or other red pepper (optional)
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
*Simmer all ingredients for 30 minutes or until the squash is soft enough to mash with a spoon. Remove from heat and either transfer to a blender pitcher or use an immersion blender to pureed all of the ingredients. If you don’t own a blender use a potato masher, food mill or ricer. If you want a chunkier soup only process half of the soup. Add water or more stock depending on the consistency you desire.
In a separate skillet saute:
1-2 cups shiitake mushroom thinly sliced
2-3 tsp sesame oil
3 tsp soy sauce, tamari, shoyu or alternative
1 tsp mirin or rice wine
*Saute the mushrooms in oil until they begin to create their own moisture for about 2 minutes and then add the soy sauce and mirin and let them cook down further another 1-2 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside.
After the soup base is pureed add to the pot:
1 bunch lacinato kale cut or torn into long thin strips
2-3 tbsp red miso (or to taste depending on how salty you want it.)
*Bring soup back to a simmer and let cook for 5-7 minutes or until kale is tender and miso paste is fully dissolved.
Ladle hot soup into bowls and then add a few spoonfuls of seasoned mushrooms to the top. Serve with condiments of your choice to add extra flavor such as toasted sesame oil, chili oil, soy sauce or alternative, miso paste, cilantro or chopped green onions.
Enjoy in good health!
Marisha Doan has been fascinated by using food as medicine her entire life. She is enchanted by the vibrancy of fresh whole foods and is especially obsessed with leafy greens and California avocados. In 2012 she completed a course of study in nutrition through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Marisha teaches group classes at Yoga Tree Potrero and offers one-on-one yoga and nutrition sessions. When not teaching and helping people achieve their health goals she can be found riding her bicycle, taking long picturesque walks with her husband and pit bull terrier, creating elaborate meals and deepening her training in Forrest Yoga and the Tamalpa Institute Life/Art Process. She is thrilled to meld all of her talents and interests into her work as a yoga instructor and holistic health counselor. Learn more at www.marishadoan.com.