Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

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This is a classic of late summer and early fall, and it's great for freezing to eat all year long. Surprising to some, squash has about a third of the omega-3s as walnuts. But it's also loaded with vitamin C and carotenoids--antioxidants that fight inflammation and protect against all the diseases of the MAD way of life.

1 large butternut squash

1–2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced

5 small leeks (white part only; the smaller ones have more flavor than the large)

1/2 stick butter or 4 tablespoons olive oil (or a mixture of both)

3–4 cups chicken stock, depending on consistency preference

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

MAKE IT: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (they can be saved and used as a garnish). Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the squash, until a knife easily pierces the flesh. About 15 minutes before the squash comes out of the oven, place a pot on the stove, add the butter/olive oil, and melt over medium heat. Place the ginger and leeks in the melted butter and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat until soft--do not let it brown. Scoop the squash out of its skin and add to the pot. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 to 60 minutes. (The longer it reduces, the better; more stock can be added later for those who like thinner soup). Blend the soup in a food processor or blender and add salt and pepper to taste.

(Serves 2)

From The Happiness Diet, by Tyler Graham & Drew Ramsey, MD, published by Rodale.