The Everyday Chef: Holiday Cinnamon Apple Spiced Squash Soup & The Art of Tea Infusion
Andrew Dole, RDN, CEC
Everyday Chef, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters
I am infatuated with the smell of cinnamon spice during the holidays. A few years ago my attempt to make lots of spiced pine cones for the house was an epic failure. Moving forward I decided to stick with something I could handle – buying candles and spiced tea. What does that have to do with this month’s recipe? First, this Cinnamon Apple Spiced Squash Soup is easier to make than spiced pine cones, by a lot. Second, teasing out a warm holiday flavor using a teabag adds a unique complexity of flavor.
Cooking with tea isn’t new. Tea infusion can be found dating back centuries throughout Asian cultures. However, today we aren’t limited to green and black tea flavors. Flavors like hibiscus blueberry, orange chia, blackberry mojito, and just about anything the imagination can dream can be made into a tea. The benefit here is that these subtle flavors can be extracted and used to create one-of-a-kind sauces, soups, or infused rice and grains.
This month I didn’t go any further than the local grocery store to get my spiced herbal tea, but that doesn’t diminish the power of the technique.
Cinnamon Apple Spiced Squash Soup Recipe
2 lb – Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1-2″ cubes
1 tea bag – Cinnamon Apple Spice Herbal Tea, caffeine free
1/2 medium onion – Yellow Onions
4 cup – Broth, Chicken, low sodium
1 tsp – Coarse Kosher Salt
1 tbsp – Ginger Root, raw
1/2 tbsp – Canola Oil
4 tbsp – Fage 2% Greek Yogurt
In large sauce pot, heat canola oil.
Add onion and ginger.
Sweat until onion turns translucent and ginger is aromatic.
Add tea bag to onion and ginger mixture, warming spices for 1-2 minutes (stir gently, don’t break teabag).
Add butternut squash, stock, and salt.
Bring to simmer.
Cover with lid and cook until squash is very tender and smashes easily.
Remove tea bag.
Blend until smooth.
Season with additional salt if needed.
Garnish with tbsp of yogurt and sprinkle of cinnamon.
NOTE: If soup is too thick, thin out with milk or chicken stock
Calories: 119.37 kcal, Protein: 5.38 g, Carbs: 22.26 g, Total Fat: 2.05 g
Sat Fat: 0.32 g, Cholesterol: 0.94 mg, Sodium: 625.51 mg, Fiber: 3.07 g
Photo Credit: Andrew Dole