Fall Soup — Latino Style

Hearty but still healthy, calabaza soup with coconut is the Hispanic diet's answer to butternut squash soup. (Photo/Betty Cortina)

 
Along with a chill in the air, a drop in humidity and, if you live in the North, a change in the leaves, the arrival of fresh calabaza at the market is one of the signs that fall is here. Latin America’s answer to butternut squash, the calabaza may be hearty and sweet, but it’s also one seriously healthy ingredient. It contains half the starch of other starchy vegetables, like potatoes and corn, which means it’s a good option for those watching their carb intake, like diabetics. Similar to other orange-colored vegetables, it’s also high in vitamins A (good for your eyesight) and C (a key antioxidant), as well as potassium (linked to reducing the incidence of heart disease).

, @bettycortina writes in NBCLatinoNews.com that typically, calabaza makes its appearances in Hispanic brothy soups or stews to add flavor. But in today’s recipe it is the star ingredient. It’s a simple technique—cook the calabaza with a few aromatic vegetables and the liquid of your choice, then puree—that can be used to make a hearty, creamy soup out of just about any vegetable, without having to rely on actual cream or butter. (Here, I used light unsweetened coconut milk for extra smoothness.) If your family is like mine — they never met a vegetable they didn’t hate — this is a great way to sneak one in.
Calabaza, sweet and nutty in flavor, is high in vitamins A and C and potassium. (Photo/Betty Cortina)
Calabaza soup with coconut
2 T olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, diced into 1-inch pieces 1 leek, green parts discarded, white portion chopped into 1-inch pieces 1 stalk celery, diced into 1-inch pieces 2 medium carrots, diced into 1-inch pieced 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced 2 to 3 lbs of calabaza, skinned and cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks 2 to 3 cups, unsalted chicken or vegetable stock 1 cup coconut milk salt and pepper to taste Chili powder and toasted pepitas, for garnish

Sounds yummy?   So .for rest of recipe read full story:  http://nbclatino.com/2013/09/30/a-healthy-idea-calabaza-soup-with-coconut/
Photo: Betty Cortina

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