Fall is a time of declining Yang energy, and the season of the Lungs. As such, it is a time when Asthma and allergies can be aggravated, when we are more likely to get colds and flus, and also sadness and grief, which are associated with the lungs. It is therefore very important to pay special attention to these at this time of year. For this reason, I have stocked up on all my cold, flu, and lung formulas. In addition, it’s time to start slowing down our energies, getting ready for turning inward in the winter. It’s also a good time to start eating root vegetables and nourishing stews.
Here is one of my specialties for autumn cooking: a recipe for a great curried squash soup to get you going!. My family always asks for it around this time of year. The squash is a vegetable that is storing a lot of Qi and Yang energy, good for helping us transition at this time of year and store our own energies inside. The mushrooms help nourish the lungs and boost the immune system, especially if you use something like shitake or maitake. There are lots of nice mushrooms out there these days. Here’s a great site where you can learn more about Chinese Medicinal cooking.
Curried Squash and Mushroom Soup
1 Butternut Squash
1 T. butter
8 oz Mushrooms of your choice, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2-4 C. Chicken Broth
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
yogurt and croutons for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 deg.
Cut the butternut squash in half, place it face down on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake for 30-45 min, until a sharp knife glides in and out easily in the thickest part.
In the meantime, wash and slice mushrooms, chop onions, grate ginger, get spices ready.
Melt the butter in a large pan, big enough to hold all the soup later.
Sautee onion for a few minutes, then add the ginger, cumin, and turmeric.
Sautee a little more until it is a nice mash, then add the mushrooms.
Sautee until mushrooms are tender. Set aside.
When the squash is done, scoop out the seeds and discard, then scoop the cooked squash into a blender, a little at a time, alternating with chicken broth.
Continue adding squash and a little chicken broth until all the squash is blended and you have a nice consistency. The exact amount of broth used will depend on how big the squash is, and also your personal preference.
Transfer the squash and broth mixture into the pan with the sauteed mushrooms, onions, and spices. Stir to mix, scraping up all the yummy stuff from the bottom. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Continue to cook on low for about another 30 minutes to mix flavors. Taste to correct seasoning.
Serve with a dollop of yogurt and a few croutons if you like.