The Benefits of Ginger: Squash Soup

Warming ginger jazzes up winter foods.

| January/February 2001


Serves 4

It’s no wonder fresh ginger tastes pungent. It contains a family of molecules called gingerols that are structurally related to capsaicin, the compound responsible for the hot bite of chiles.

The epitome of comfort food, creamy squash soup packs all of ginger’s benefits plus healthy beta-carotene.

• 1 medium acorn squash, or about 1 1/2 pounds Hubbard, banana, or other firm, sweet winter squash
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 3 1/2 cups nonfat milk
• Salt and white pepper to taste

1. Split the squash and discard seeds and pulp. Set the squash in a microwavable container and microwave on high until the pulp is soft, about 10 to 14 minutes. Remove. The squash will be hot, so use potholders and a long-handled spoon to carefully scoop the pulp from the shell. Set the pulp aside (it should measure about 11/2 cups).

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and cook just until the spice is fragrant. Add the onion and sauté until the vegetable is limp, then sprinkle with flour. Cook until the mixture forms a paste, stirring constantly. Don’t allow it to brown.

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