Soup. The word itself almost makes time slow down. Standing over the stove, stirring as it simmers… a taste here, a dash there… then curling up on the couch with a big ol’ bowl and a blanket. Sounds like a perfect night to me!
Often times the most comforting soups contain dairy, which is a no-no for my sensitive tum. This recipe uses blended winter squash and white beans to provide a creamy, dairy-free base with a ton of flavor and nutrients. If you don’t have a food processor or blender, you can leave the beans and squash whole. It won’t have quite the same effect, but I’m sure it will taste just as delicious.
I used acorn squash for this recipe, which has a sweet yet slightly peppery flavor. I really love it for more savory recipes that use squash, where sweeter squashes like butternut can oftentimes over power the other flavors and become a bit too sweet. That being said, you can certainly substitute butternut, kabocha, Hubbard, or even pumpkin in this recipe!
No matter which squash you choose, your soup will be chock-full of nutrients. Just one cup of winter squash contains 214% of the RDA of Vitamin A which is great for vision, a healthy immune system, and the growth and repair of cells within the body. Conversely, it is thought to slow or prevent the growth and production of DNA within cancerous cells. Winter squash is also a good source of Vitamin C and fiber among a host of other nutrients! Did I mention it also tastes delicious? Seriously, guys, there’s really no downside to eating squash…
And then there are the beans! White beans (aka navy beans or great northern beans) are a wonderful source of low GI fiber, which not only fills you up but stabilizes blood sugar while providing you with a lasting source of energy. They’re also a good source of folate, iron, potassium and magnesium. They also contain 15.2 grams of protein per cup. That is one well-rounded bean!
This recipe is
Creamy Dairy-Free Winter Squash Chicken Soup
• 1 baked acorn squash (cut in half, scoop out pulp and seeds, place face down on a baking sheet and cook for 40-45 minutes at 400°)
• 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
• 1/2 cup water
• 2-15 oz. cans white beans (great northern or navy beans)
• 3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/2 tsp allspice
• 1/2 tsp nutmeg
• 1 bay leaf
• sea salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1. When your squash is finished cooking (see directions above), remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Turn the squash cut side up and let sit for another 10 minutes until cool enough to handle. Acorn squash can be tricky to cut and peel, but I find slicing the “valleys” of the ridges works well. Carefully slide a paring knife under the rind to remove.
2. Cut the squash into medium sized pieces and place in the food processor with the chicken broth, water, and white beans. Blend until smooth.
3. Transfer the squash mixture into a medium sized sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir in ACV, garlic, spices, and bay leaf. When the mixture begins to bubble (watch out for splatters!) reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
4. In the meantime, shred your chicken breasts either by hand or with two forks. When your soup is done cooking, stir in the chicken breast and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. This soup retains its heat very well, so be careful – it’s going to be hot!
This soup was so comforting for me – and also so filling! As with most soups, the flavor will meld more as time goes on, making this recipe perfect for leftovers. Feel free to half the recipe if you’re cooking for 1… there will be more than plenty.
This post is a part of Allergy Free Alaska’s Whole Food Fridays. Click here to check it out!