Monday, 22 July 2013

Hokkaido Squash Soup and Roast 'Pumpkin' Seeds

Beta-carotene-rich creamy goodness
This week we got a Hokkaido Squash in the vege box.  I've never even heard of a Hokkaido Squash before so I had to google it.  It is one of several types of winter squash and good for you in more ways than you can imagine. Given it has actually started being summer in London, I was flirting with the idea of making a squash, basil and feta salad based on something I had for lunch from Del Aziz once years ago.  Delicious, but I had no feta, Mr Duncan is supposed to be off dairy,  and my basil plant is a bit leggy so I needed to come up with another plan.

Risotto? Its too stodgy for this weather.

I've always loved a warming pumpkin soup.  I think my mother must have made it for me as a child as I don't remember ever looking up a recipe or learning how to make it.  I dont often find the type of grey skinned pumpkin common in New Zealand so have experimented with other types of winter squash and been largely successful.*

Fertility Focus
Cayenne Pepper is full of antioxidants and also dilates blood vessels, promoting flow to the reproductive organs
Home made Chicken Stock is suggested by Traditional Chinese Medicine for nurturing fertility
Turmeric is good for stabilising blood sugar levels which helps with managing weight and hormone balance.
Winter Squash is rich in Vitamin A and also contains zinc and selenium which is important for both ovarian and sperm health.

Ingredients
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Onion
  • Dried tumeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper
  • Hokkaido Squash
  • Home made chicken stock

Method
Peel, remove seeds and chop the squash into bite sized pieces, then simmer in the chicken stock until soft.
Meanwhile finely chop the garlic, ginger and onion and sweat in a soup pot in a teaspoon of coconut oil.  Once the onion mixture is soft, mix in the spices (approx tsp of each) until fragrant.  Drain the chicken stock, reserving liquid, and mash.  Mix mashed squash in onion and spice mix - adding sufficient chicken stock/boiling mixture to the right consistency.  Heat to serving temperature and garnish with herbs or cheese.

I also like to stir in a spoon of natural yoghurt if I have it available.

Given pumpkin seeds are full of the zinc and magnesium so good for a man's sperm, I thought I'd make a special snack for Mr Duncan and have a go at making my own.  Normally I'd just toss them in a bit of olive oil and salt, but because of Mr Duncan's blood pressure I used some cumin and smoked paprika in place of the salt.  I spread them over a baking tray and baked them at 140 C for about 20 minutes - until they started 'popping'.


It turns out that while Mr Duncan likes the taste of the flavouring - he's not into the texture of pumpkin seeds.  Sigh.

I like them as a snack though.

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* Using a spaghetti squash was an abject failure.  It wouldn't mash or blend and turned into a stringy mess.  I gave up and had cheese on toast.

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