Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 21, 2017
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Gingered yellow squash soup

Partner this spicy soup with crispy flatbread or focaccia. A spoonful of dill or basil pesto makes a dazzling accent to behold and savour.

1 tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh ginger, peeled and minced

½ tsp. (2.5 ml) salt

¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) ground cumin

¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) ground turmeric

dash freshly ground black pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper

5 medium, yellow straight or crookneck squash (about 1½ lb./750 g total)

2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (see note)

3 c. (750 ml) homemade or canned low-sodium chicken broth

½ c. (125 ml) plain yogurt

dill pesto for serving (recipe to follow)

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and sauté until soft, 8 minutes. Add the salt, cumin, turmeric, black pepper and cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Add the squash, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low, cover, and simmer until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife, 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. In a blender or food processor, process the soup to a smooth purée. Add the yogurt, and pulse to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot or cold garnished with a spoonful of pesto. Serves 4.

Note: To peel the tomatoes, score an X in the bottom of each, plunge them into a pot of boiling water and cook until the skin begins to wrinkle, 20 to 30 seconds. Using tongs, transfer to a bowl of ice water. As soon as they cool, remove from the water and peel away the skin, using your fingers or a small, sharp knife. To seed, cut each in half crosswise, then lightly squeeze and shake it to dislodge the seeds. Use a finger if needed to help dislodge the seed sacs.

Dill pesto

1½ c. (375 ml) fresh dill leaves, packed

1½ c. (375 ml) fresh flat-leaf parsley, packed

2 tbsp. (30 ml) pistachios or pine nuts

2 large garlic cloves, minced

3-4 tbsp. (45-60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. (30 ml) fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

In a blender or food processor, combine the dill, parsley, nuts and garlic. Process until finely minced. Add the oil and cheese, and process until blended. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using if serving the soup hot. Makes ¾ cup (180 ml).

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