Squash soup is a popular food for the fall but this soup recipe turns the usual squash or pumpkin soup on its ear. Instead of using a pumpkin or a winter squash like acorn or butternut squash, we used our last summer squash to make a milder tasting soup. Carrots and apples add to the sweetness of the soup. Kohlrabi adds a mild pungency that really comes out because the pattypan has a fairly neutral taste. Ginger is added for a little extra heat and to round out the flavour.
This crockpot soup recipe is a snap to make. Just set it and forget it until the end of the day! It is naturally gluten-free and loaded with low-carb, low-calorie vegetables. You can make it dairy-free if you use coconut milk or another dairy-free milk alternative. It’s also very simple to opt for a vegetarian or vegan soup, and this recipe contains ingredients that are consistent with a Paleo diet.
Read more about the choice of ingredients in this yummy squash soup, or skip right down to the recipe now.
Most squash soup recipes use either an acorn or butternut squash, and that’s what I would normally use as well. But we happened to discover a forgotten pattypan squash when we were assembling the ingredients to make our soup, so I decided to save my lovely little honeynut squash for another recipe.
Because this soup recipe also includes kohlrabi, which has a mild taste somewhat similar to a turnip, I would recommend against using pumpkin or any of the dark orange winter squash varieties in this soup. If pattypan squash isn’t available to you right now, you could substitute a spaghetti squash or maybe some yellow crookneck squash or zucchini. If using green-skinned zucchini, peel them. (Frugal hint: Save the peels for your soup bag or cut them into julienne strips and freeze. You can include them in your next spaghetti sauce!)
The apples in this squash soup recipe are a nod to Ali of Gimme Some Oven, who includes apples in both her Chai Butternut Squash Soup and her Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup. We used Golden Delicious apples, which are soft and sweet. They have a thin skin that will blend up easily when you puree the soup, so there’s no need to peel them.
Gala, Honeycrisp, and McIntosh apples would all work well in this soup, as would any apple that has soft flesh that cooks down well. If you’re on a Keto diet, you can use half of a Granny Smith apple instead of the two Golden Delicious apples. (If you want, add an extra carrot to the recipe to balance it out.) With many varieties of apple, the healthy phenol content is higher in the skin, so try to choose thin-skinned varieties for this soup recipe and don’t peel them.
Apples sweeten the soup, helping to balance the pungency of the kohlrabi. Apples and ginger are a classic flavour combination, so you know they are going to marry well in this soup. The apples boost the fibre and vitamin C content of this soup recipe. They also add modest amounts of vitamins B6 and A, potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium.
Apples contain both insoluble fibre and soluble fibre, particularly in the form of pectin. While the insoluble fibre keeps you regular, the soluble fibre can lower (bad) LDL cholesterol and help prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease. Apples also contain the antioxidant quercetin, which is linked to lower risk of stroke.
Antioxidants in apples may help you to breathe better and can moderate caloric intake, which in turn contributes to weight loss. Regular consumption of apples may help prevent certain types of cancer. If you don’t seem to find the time to snack on a raw apple regularly, adding apples to your recipes is a good way to get them into your diet.
Kohlrabi is a vegetable from the brassica, or cabbage, family. It sometimes goes by the names “German turnip” or “turnip cabbage,” both of which hint at its turnip-like flavour. You can find both green and purple varieties of kohlrabi. You can use either type in this soup. If your kohlrabi comes with the leaves still attached, remove them as soon as you bring them home and store them as you would other leafy greens.
Kohlrabi is a low-calorie vegetable, and one you should know if you are concerned about getting enough vitamin C. You can get 103% of your daily vitamin C requirement in 100 g of kohlrabi. This vegetable also supplies dietary fibre, potassium, and vitamin B6, along with smaller quantities of other B vitamins and vitamin E, magnesium and manganese, phosphorus, iron, calcium, and protein. There are only 27 calories in 100 g of kohlrabi. It has no appreciable fat, cholesterol, or sodium. Kohlrabi is also low-carb. Kohlrabi also contains sulforaphane, the powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant that is also found in broccoli.
The carrots in this recipe help to give it its orange colour. They also add to content of vitamins B6, B7, C and K, potassium, and fibre in the recipe. And of course, carrots are loaded with vitamin A and its precursors. One cup of chopped carrots contains a whopping 427% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A.
Besides beta-carotene, carrots also supply several additional carotenoids: alpha- and gamma-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. One large carrot contains only 30 calories, which makes it a low-calorie addition to this soup recipe. Choose orange carrots for this soup if you want to benefit from the high levels of carotenoids. You could use some white or yellow carrots if you happen to have grown them or purchased some at the farmer’s market. But I would avoid using red or purple carrots in this soup, because they would alter the colour – probably not in a terribly attractive way!
You may not be aware of ginger’s nutritional benefits, even if you are familiar with its medicinal uses. In 100 g of ginger, you’d find significant amounts of potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6, along with dietary fibre and lesser amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and iron. But because the amount of ginger used in this recipe is a good bit less than 100 g, ginger’s contributions to the soup’s vitamin and mineral content are smaller.
If you are using ginger for its health benefits, this soup is one way to get more ginger into your diet. Ginger contains volatile compounds and phenols such as gingerol. Traditional medicine has used ginger to relieve nausea and pain, as well as to improve digestion. Contemporary research into the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger shows that it can be effective in reducing inflammation and relieving pain associated with arthritis, menstrual cramps, and gastrointestinal complaints. There is some evidence to suggest the antioxidants in ginger could help prevent certain types of cancer. This cancer-fighting power is at least partially responsible for the current interest in daily consumption of moderate amounts of ginger.
Please be aware that, like all herbal medicines, ginger is associated with some side effects and can pose a risk for specific groups of people. If you are going to use ginger on a daily basis or consume moderate to large quantities of ginger at one time, please do you research and know the risks. If you are pregnant or have a chronic health concern, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting to take ginger medicinally.
1-1/2 to 2 cups pattypan squash, seeded and cut into chunks
2 medium Golden Delicious apples, cored and cut into chunks
1 cup kohlrabi, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large carrot, scrubbed and cut into chunks
1 small onion, chopped
2” fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth OR 2 cups water plus 2 tsp Better Than Bouillon concentrate
1 cup milk or half-and-half
salt and pepper to taste
ground nutmeg (optional)
This is a super simple crockpot recipe. Just cut up the vegetables and mice the ginger. Place these in the crockpot and add your broth. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, or until the vegetables are very tender.
Puree the soup in your blender and add the milk. If you want a vegan or dairy-free soup, coconut milk would work great. You could also experiment with other mildly flavoured dairy-free milks. If the soup seems too thick at this point, you can add a little extra water or broth to adjust the consistency.
That’s it! Serve it up! I like to top my squash soup with a little sprinkling of nutmeg, and just a hint of salt and pepper. A handful of chopped fresh parsley, a few toasted pumpkin seeds, or some toasted walnut pieces would also make a wonderful topping. Experiment with the flavours you like. This is a versatile soup.
This squash and ginger soup is creamy and mild, with just a tiny bit of pungency. The kohlrabi is the major flavour that comes through, tasting somewhat like salad turnips. This soup is quite filling, so it makes a great lunch or light supper. Our kids love to eat it fairly thick so they can dunk other foods into it. Their favourite accompaniment is baked chicken fingers but they’ll also dip roasted potatoes, meatballs, and other foods into the soup. If you are a bread lover, try it with lightly toasted fingers of dark pumpernickel. Whatever you serve it with, you really can’t go wrong!
Want to Pin this recipe for later? Feel free to use the graphic below:
Did you enjoy this article? Check out some related content below!
FRUGAL TIP: COOK HOMEMADE SOUP STOCK AT ALMOST NO COST
5 FANTASTIC WAYS TO LIVEN UP THE HUMBLE TURNIP
DIET FOOD: HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN A CARROT
Original content © 2017 Kyla Matton Osborne, aka #RubyWriter
This article was published on my food blog, 24 Carrot Diet. If you are reading this content anywhere else, it has probably been stolen. Please report it to me so I can address any copyright infringements. Thank you!