According to Ayurveda, fall is the season of Vata, the principle of movement. This means that in the fall, we become more prone to imbalances of vata, including cold, dry, and mobile conditions (such as cold extremities, constipation, dry skin, excessive thoughts and anxiety, and/or erratic movements).
For this reason, fall season is a good time to nourish and protect our nervous system, which is constantly receiving information and sending impulses throughout our body, and is thus primarily governed by vata. This soup is warming, smooth, grounding, and full of healthy oils, all qualities that support healthy vata.
To me, butternut squash is the taste of fall. It can be prepared in numerous delicious ways, and is full of health benefits. It is high in beta-carotene and vitamin A, which are beneficial for the eyes and nervous system. Its high fiber content has been shown to help reduce risk of colorectal cancer, as well as reducing blood sugar and managing weight. And the potassium rich food can also reduce blood pressure, reducing risk of stroke and heart disease.
In this recipe, I've also included the option to add dulse, a mineral-rich sea vegetable high in Omega-3 fatty acids and iodine. Dulse offers excellent support to the thyroid, brain, and nervous system. It can be found in the seaweed section of most health food stores, and is a nutritious and flavorful addition to this soup.
Butternut Squash Soup
V↓ P↓ K↓
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped (more to taste)
1 butternut squash, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tart green apple, cored & chopped
3-4 cups water
2 tablespoons dulse (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
salt + pepper to taste
Melt the ghee in a large soup pot or dutch oven. When hot, add the onion, celery, carrot, and ginger and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the squash, apple, and 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil.
Add dulse if using, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is soft.
Allow to cool slightly, then puree using an immersion blender, or by transferring to a regular or high-speed blender. Blend to desired consistency, then transfer back to soup pot.
Add nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serves 4.