Thursday, December 17, 2009

Squash and Bean Soup

1 tbsp. unrefined sesame oil (or any heart healthy oil)
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery
3-4 cloves garlic
1 ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
2 apples, chopped (whatever you have on hand)
2 ½ cups butternut squash
5 cups vegetable broth (low sodium-I like Imagine brand)
2 cups black beans, presoaked
½ stick of kombu (a sea vegetable)
1 ½ tsp. cumin
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. sea salt
3 cups water

Bring a large skillet to medium heat. Sautte in olive oil, the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and ginger for about 2-3 minutes—enough to let them sweat-do not let the garlic burn!:) Then in a crock-pot (or very large pot), add the remaining ingredients for about 8 hrs (not 5). Serve with a dollop of goat cheese, a whole grain roll with a salad.

I made this soup for our Small Group's Progressive Dinner.  I was in charge of soup and salad.  When in the crock-pot, the aromas were sooo calming!  I do not know that it was popular... for one thing, most people aren't on the healthy train (especially men in general, but mostly, the soup flavors just didn't seem to come together just yet.  I originally said 4-5 hours in the crockpot, but I think 8 hours would be better.  I came home after the last house and for one thing my house smelled AMAZING... anyway, I took a peek at the soup and it was darker, taking on the color of the black beans... then I took a sip--then a bowl.  It was just so good.  Perfect with that whole grain harvest roll and goat cheese! Boy--I have eaten way too much tonight...YMCA, here I come!

Yum Fact: Kombu is a sea vegetable that helps to tenderize cooking dried beans (in liquid of course). This helps the beans release their gas while cooking so that when you eat them, you aren’t gassy!  Aside from that benefit, Kombu is loaded with Iodine, minerals, and protein. The Japanese really use this vegetable in their cooking (stews, soups, stir-fries…etc). Kombu and other sea vegetables like Wakame could be considered as “tumor inhibitors”. Per the FDA, the minerals in these vegetables have been known to rid your body of radioactive materials (i.e. strontium 90 and cadmium). They are also anti-inflammatory, antiviral, reduce blood pressure… the list goes on. I ordered Kombu from Eden Foods, but I did see them in our local health food store, the Health Nut. (kombu info taken from and The Kind Diet, by Silverstone).

1 comment:

  1. Ok--it even taste better the next day! It has gotten thicker. I left it in the crock-pot on warm this morning... came home for lunch... I put it on the leftover salad--so good! For my son, I put a 1/4 cup of whole wheat couscous in bowl with the soup....yum!