Day 140: Yellow Squash Soup with Spinach ♥
aka Early Autumn Leaves in Soup

Yellow Squash Soup with Spinach
Today's easy soup recipe: Just yellow squash, bell peppers and spinach in a simple soup but somehow ever so much more. Great color, low carb and just one or two points for Weight Watchers. When made with vegetable broth, not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

~recipe & photo updated 2013~
~more recently updated recipes~

FIRST THE POETIC It's still summer-warm here in eastern Missouri and even as I write, outside the cicadas are calling, described by Faulkner as the 'rasp of summer, August'. But this afternoon, an early-turning tree in the neighborhood began to glimmer with autumn gold. It'll be mid- to late-October before peak leaf color reaches the Mississippi and Missouri river valleys. Til then, our rolling hills will be a mix of green with yellow, then yellow with green. Just like this pretty soup!

NOW THE PRACTICAL If you've over-indulged for a few days and need/want to cut back, BRING ON THE CAKE. It's counter-intuitive, I know, but follow the logic.

You're feeling so full, intuition says to eat little, perhaps nothing.
But your body doesn't understand that rationale: If it's deprived of the calories it needs, it fears the onset of starvation and changes your metabolism to preserve body energy, fat.
So ... the trick is to trick the body. Give it the calories it needs but in calorie-dense foods without bulk – i.e., cake.
Once you feel less full (with exercise added, for me it takes a day) return to the normal regimen, providing the body, each day, the tight range of calories (and nutrients and bulk) it needs but no more – i.e., not much cake.

Disclaimer: I'm not a nutritionist nor a weight-loss expert. But this is a weight management technique that works for me. If there are nutritionists who think this idea should be debunked, please say so! If you like it, I'm happy for confirmation!

In the mean time, this soup was the perfect light supper after several days of good eating and, um, yes, I admit, cake for breakfast.

Veggies for Kids:
KID #1, an 8-year old finicky eater: "No thank you. I like peanut butter better."
KID #2, a 5 and 9/10-year old adventurous eater: "Goooooooood. Hey, what's that purple stuff? No, it's purple, not green. Spinach? Hmmm. It tastes like tomatoes. I LIKE tomatoes."

2013 UPDATE: No surprise, this soup tastes just as good in spring! It's easily adaptable and full of flavor. This one's a real keeper!

RECIPE for YELLOW SQUASH SOUP with SPINACH

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Makes 7 cups

3 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for a vegan soup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large yellow peppers, diced
1 generous pound of yellow squash, diced
1 tablespoon garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Salt (I use a generous 2 teaspoons)
4 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed

Bring the chicken broth to boil in the microwave.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot or Dutch oven on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the olive oil and heat. As they're chopped, add the onion, peppers and squash to the pot, stirring very regularly. Stir in the garlic, ginger and turmeric. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to MEDIUM and let simmer for about 10 minutes, just until the squash is getting soft, no more, otherwise it will disintegrate.

Use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to partially or completely purée the soup, depending on your texture preference. Season to taste with salt. Stir in the spinach and cook for 1 minute, just til the spinach softens but remains bright green.

ALANNA'S TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
I use turmeric here but think that ginger and cumin would be great substitutes.
I loved the gold and green color combination but you could also use a red pepper instead of a yellow pepper.



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MORE FAVORITE RECIPES ESPECIALLY FOR YELLOW SQUASH
~ Yellow Squash Coconut Soup ~
~ Israeli Couscous Salad with Yellow Squash & Sun-Dried Tomatoes ~
~ Yellow Summer Squash Casserole ~
~ more summer squash recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

MORE FAVORITE RECIPES FOR SUMMER SQUASH
~ Mediterranean Eggplant ~
~ Finnish Summer Soup ~
~ Ratatouille ~
~ more summer squash recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005




8 comments:

i don't get it - what's a recipe using chicken broth doing on a cooking site called "A Veggie Venture"?

Hi Ben ~ I don't get it. Vegetarians have sole rights to the word veggie? Of course not! This site is 100% vegetables but not (though mostly) vegetarian. Get it?!

What amt of the Early Autumn Leaves in Soup constitutes 'a serving' for one weight watchers point? And is this 'amt' the same for all your recipes as a serving?

thanks,
Christine

Good catch, Christine, I've been fixing these when I find them.

I do use very consistent serving sizes, for soups, it is one cup per serving.

Could this be a crock-pot-friendly soup? And in regards to the chicken broth, I always substitute vegetable broth to make a recipe vegetarian!

Sarah ~ Yes it think it would work fine in a slow cooker but would likely use the four-hour setting versus the eight-hour setting. And I'd add the spinach just before serving, not at the beginning.

Thanks for the flexibility re chicken stock and vegetable stock, it seems easy enough to me! :-)

What if you eat more than one cup/serving with zero point soups, how would you calculate the number of points consumed. I would generally eat two cups, and it were all I was having for dinner, let's say, I might consume more?

Hi Barbara ~ Sorry, no "free" lunch here. When you eat more than the serving size, you have to adjust the calorie/nutrition information and recalculate the points on your own.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna