Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken

This traditional favorite has enhanced nutritional value by adding chicken for a wonderfully warming soup. The result is a smooth blend that is sure to satisfy your taste.

Butternut is a winter squash with a pleasant orange color that seems to match perfectly its satisfying taste and texture. Its mildly sweet flavor is similar to the pumpkin. In fact in some countries it’s regarded as pumpkin. Although used as a vegetable, butternut squash is actually a fruit that grows on a vine.

The pungent, spicy-sweet qualities of the ginger add a bit of complexity to the mild squash. Ginger is a tropical plant that has green-purple flowers and an aromatic underground stem (called a rhizome). It is commonly used both medicinally and for cooking. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is investigating the general safety and effectiveness of ginger’s use for health purposes.

The leeks provide a mild flavor, similar to onions, but without overpowering the primary taste of the soup.

Pureeing the soup mix ensures a rich smooth consistency that will please your senses and taste buds. This wonderful soup makes a great leftover, so prepare a little extra to heat up and enjoy later.

Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken - Makes 6 servings.

1 Tbsp. canola oil

3 large leeks, white portion only, coarsely chopped

3 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger

Medium to large butternut squash, about 3 to 3.5 pounds, cut into 2-inch pieces, seeds removed (or use 3 (10 oz.) packages of frozen cooked squash puree)

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock, divided (reduced-sodium broth may be substituted)

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (great use for leftover chicken)

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped parsley for garnish

Whole-wheat croutons, optional

In large soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Sauté leeks and ginger until they start to soften, about 2 minutes.

Add squash and stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.

Let cool. Place in blender, or use an immersion blender, and blend until smooth and lump free.

Return soup to pot. Stir in chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat thoroughly. Garnish with parsley and croutons, if using, and serve.

Makes approximately 6 cups.

Per serving: 235 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 30 g carbohydrate, 20 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 100 mg sodium.

The Author:

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $96 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

Article Posted: February 25, 2011

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