It’s been an interesting and encouraging week for my PCOS. I had my yearly check-up on Monday afternoon, and my doctor did some blood work to check my hormone levels. On Tuesday, I found out that I’ve actually improved. My luteinizing hormone, which used to be quite high, was back down to normal. AND my blood glucose level was also normal. I was so excited that I felt high for the rest of the day.
Having PCOS involves so much guess work. It’s hard to lose weight, and my weight hasn’t budged despite eating healthier. Because my weight hasn’t changed, it’s made me wonder whether or not I’m doing the right things. So having the positive blood work was very encouraging. Yay
So anyway, I’m behind on blogging. I just lost my steam for a few days, but now I’m feeling excited to blog again. So here I am! Earlier this week, I made cream of butternut squash soup, which is one of my favorites.
- 2 tbs. water
- 1 butternut squash, cubed
- 2 yukon gold potatoes, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbs. minced ginger
- salt and pepper
- mirin (optional, see below)*
I started with a rather large butternut. Squash are super annoying to cut, so it was the most tedious part of the whole process. I cut it in half horizontally, then again vertically, and scooped out all the seeds and stringys.
From there, I did my best to remove the peel with a sharp knife. It was tricky and annoying but didn’t take terribly long. Then I cut it into cubes.
Next, I chopped the onion and potatoes while Mark minced the garlic. PCOS patients generally need to steer clear of starchy vegetables like potatoes. But in this case, I wouldn’t skip with potatoes. It’s only two small ones in the whole batch, and they serve to naturally thicken the soup. Don’t worry—the finished product is still low glycemic.
In a large, deep saucepan, I sauteed the onions in the water for about 5 minutes until they were tender. Then I added the garlic and ginger and sauteed for about 3 minutes more. You can buy fresh ginger and mince it. But I keep a jar of minced ginger in the fridge for convenience. We use it a lot in stir fries, so I like having it around.
Finally, I added the squash and potato to the pan and added enough water to cover it. I brought the water to a boil and then immediately reduced it to a simmer and covered it. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes until the squash and potato were all nice and soft.
Our blender is not big enough to fit the entire batch at once. So I scooped out half of it, blended, and then put that half into a serving dish. Then I scooped out the rest, blended, and added it to the dish. The water won’t cook away when you simmer, include everything—even the water—into the blender.
Once in the serving dish, I added salt and pepper to taste.
*Mirin. I’ve had spicy, savory butternut squash soups, and I’ve had sweeter butternut squash soups. The sweeter kinds are usually sweetened with cream and brown sugar. I would like to recommend using mirin instead. It is a naturally sweet Japanese rice wine. I prefer Eden Organics. They use organic brown rice brewed in cedar kegs.
Watch out when you are buying mirin, which I learned the hard way. Several brands are not authentic and add corn syrup to make it sweeter. (I’m lookin’ at you, Kikkoman!) Here’s an article about it from The New York Times. It can be a little difficult to find, but I recommend checking Whole Foods, health food stores, or even World Market. (I’ve found Eden in some Whole Foods but not others. It’s really hit or miss.)
Add 1/4 cup of mirin to the soup, if you want a sweeter touch.
This made such a large batch that we’ll be eating it for days. I noticed that after spending a night in the fridge, the soup gains a gelatinous—almost rubbery—texture. To thin it out while maintaining the creaminess, I heated it up with a splash of soy creamer added in. It was even better than when it was fresh!