Last week I did another talk for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and I mentioned this delicious anti-inflammatory soup that I use to help reduce inflammation in my body whenever I start to feel an MS flare-up coming on. * Knock on wood* no major relapse in 9 years now! You can read that story here.
Even when I suffer a minor hiccup (that’s what I call little random symptoms I might experience when I stray a little too far away from my healthy diet or experience a lot of stress), I’ve been able to avoid a relapse all these years by eating, living and thinking in a certain way.
Of course, there are often several factors that contribute to imbalances and inflammation in the body such as food intolerances, an inflammatory diet, overconsumption of sugar and refined grains, lack of good gut bacteria, poor sleep quality and chronic stress. Even though it’s always best to address the root cause of inflammation, adding anti-inflammatory foods and spices to your diet can help dampen some of the flames of inflammation.
This recipe uses many anti-inflammatory spices, including turmeric, which helps reduce pain and inflammation throughout the entire body. The beta-carotene in the butternut squash is also extremely healing and loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve even used this soup to help get over colds faster, due to the antibacterial properties in the purple onions and garlic.
Anti-inflammatory Butternut Squash Soup
- 3 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1/2 purple onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. curry power
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- Dash of ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
- Dash of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Wash the butternut squash thoroughly and poke several holes in it using a sharp knife, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roast squash for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven and set a side until cool. When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and cut squash into cubes.
- While squash is cooling, dice the onions and garlic and sauté in half a cup of vegetable stock.
- Add the squash, remaining vegetable stock and spices to a pot with the onions and garlic.
- Gently simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Puree until smooth. Add the coconut milk, stirring well and gently simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes.
* Anti-inflammatory Cooking Tip: Vegetable stock can used as a substitution for cooking with oil. Refined oils not only adds empty calories to a meal but when heated, oxidizes and can contribute to inflammation.