• Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Sage

    Five Flavor Reset Soups

    Soup is the ideal winter food.  It’s soothing and easy to digest. Eating soup in the winter will help you to stay warm and energized during the cold months.  Save the salads and smoothies for spring and summer.  Here is my favorite recipe, which I eat all winter, and sometimes use as a base for a chunky vegetable soup.  Butternut squash grows close to the ground, tastes sweet, and has an earthy orange color.  It is therefore grounding, centering, and soothing.  That’s why I call it a reset soup!  Incorporating all of the five flavors* (sweet, salty, bitter, pungent, sour) into your soup helps you to feel satisfied, and it balances the body, too.

    Butternut squash, Green Apple and Sage Soup
    Ingredients:
    2 tbls olive, coconut, or avocado oil
    1 small onion, diced (pungent)
    4 fresh sage leaves (bitter, pungent)
    1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced (sour)
    1 quart chicken or vegetable broth (sweet, salty)
    1 large butternut squash (sweet)
    salt and pepper
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut off the top of the squash, and then carefully cut it lengthwise and scoop out seeds.  Rub with coconut or other oil.  Place squash cut side up on baking pan or directly on oven rack.  Roast until it’s tender and begins to brown a bit on the skin and edges.  Put aside to let cool.
    2. When the squash is about done, heat the oil in a large soup pot.  Saute the onion, apple, and sage leaves until onions are soft and translucent, about 5-10 minutes.  Remove the sage leaves.  Turn off the heat temporarily.
    3. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop it out of its peel and add it to the pot. Add broth according to how thick you would like your soup to be (you may not want to use the whole quart).  Turn the heat back up to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring and breaking up large pieces of the squash.
    4. Use a handheld immersion blender and blend until smooth, or puree in blender in batches.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

    *The five flavors are part of the Five Element system.  In acupuncture theory, the five element system is a way of organizing all of natural phenomena according to their underlying energetic natures.  For example, WATER relates to the Kidney and Bladder, as well as the salty flavor, a moaning sound, the color blue-black, and the emotion of fear, and will power.

    In Chinese Medicine, we more commonly say Five Phases rather than Five Elements.  This is because these phases are in dynamic relationships with each other.

    Maintaining harmony in the relationships between the Five Phases is key to health, and is part of what acupuncturists aim to shift in your body during your treatment.  We also use herbs, meditation and nutrition for this purpose.

    Make sure each flavor is represented in your diet, or you can cause an imbalance in the relationship dynamic of your organ/meridian systems!