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About the Author: John Immel, Asheville, NC

Butternut Squash Soup with Fennel, Ginger & Garlic

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(4.80 out of 5 stars) 10 reviews
Butternut Squash Soup with Fennel, Ginger & Garlic Ayurveda Recipe
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravatingDigestive Effects Help
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
Diuretic, Cardiac-stimulant, Diaphoretic, Stimulates-energy, Warms-abdomen, Satisfies-stomach
Effect: Alkalizing, Prana
Meal: Lunch-Dinner
Recommended for: Autumn-Winter
Type: Vegetables
Style: Ayurvedic
Occasion: Thanksgiving, On-the-mend, Cleanse, Dinner-party
Preparation: Puree, Soup, Boiled
Element: Fire, Metal
Color: Orange
Nourishes: Red-Blood

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Pharmacological Effects
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Is Butternut Squash Soup with Fennel, Ginger & Garlic Good for Me?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether Butternut Squash Soup with Fennel, Ginger & Garlic is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.

ayurvedic perspective

Butternut Squash Soup with Garlic, Fennel, and Ginger offers warmth & satisfaction for the season. After a summer of absorbing the sun's energy, farm-fresh Butternut Squash is ripe, sweet, and ready for autumn consumption. It is no wonder that the earth offers this brightly-colored, bountiful food in the fall and winter time, when your body naturally craves more cozy, grounding foods. Ginger & sweet fennel add an enticing top note for a delicate finish and enhanced digestibility to this delectable soup. This is comfort food at its best - bringing contentment without weighing you down.

Feel Calm & Grounded

Soup is an excellent way to nurture your body. It is soothing and reassuring when you're feeling frazzled. The natural dryness of fall tends to trigger anxiety, triggering scattered thoughts and disarray. Soups replenish moisture which calms your nerves and soothes your mind. Cooked garlic and onions are grounding and calming for a wired brain, making this meal a hearty and supportive treat. Butternut squash soup helps you relax at the end of a long day at work.

Immune System Boost

Ginger, garlic and onion are a combination used ubiquitously in Asian cooking known as "tri-root." It is highly beneficial for stressed immune systems. Garlic and onion are known immune tonics as they are antimicrobial and improve circulation. Ginger and black pepper's fiery character protects you on cold, damp days, making this soup a fail-proof immune-boosting tonic. Butternut Squash Soup with its immune support spices is a gem for fall illnesses. It is dairy-free, yet heavy enough to keep you feeling strong and satiated while fighting off a cold or flu.

Comfort Food that Helps You Lose Weight

Butternut squash isn't just a comfort food for the senses, it is also an ideal comfort food for weight loss and diabetes. Its mild diuretic qualities drain excess "dampness," meaning it can drain mucus congestion from the lungs and flush excess water retention from your body. Although it tastes sweet, the complex carbohydrates in butternut squash won't aggravate diabetes either. The pungent scent of garlic is a sign of its stimulating effects on the circulatory system, useful for boosting metabolism, which is a key factor in losing weight.

Support Your Liver

Your eyes may seem naturally drawn to the rich golden hues of butternut squash in autumn. Its orange color is due to carotenes, the molecules that bring that luscious bright orange shade to carrots and sweet potatoes. The high content of carotenes in butternut squash soothes your stressed liver while nourishing dry eyes. Butternut squash is also thought to contain anti-inflammatory properties, which cool off an overheated liver.

Good for Cleanses, Illness & Weakness

The soft, sweet qualities of butternut squash are easy to digest and very nourishing, perfect for the elderly and those with weak digestion. Butternut squash is also wonderful when your system is weakened by cleansing or purification. Butternut squash works gently to rebuild strength without compromising the lightness achieved by cleansing. Mild spices in this recipe like fennel and ginger augment the ease of digesting butternut squash for your transition back to health. These spices also aid detoxification. Although they have warming qualities, these spices will not inflame heat-sensitive Pitta constitutions, even as they promote warmth and balance in cool, dry constitutions. The nourishing benefits of butternut squash soup are enhanced by the use of lime. Like all sours, lime increases secretions and moistens dry Vata, especially in the autumn when the body tends toward cold limbs and dryness. These spices and flavors work in tandem with the squash to produce a satisfying, deeply fortifying meal.


1. Roast the butternut squash in the the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool. The skin will peel off easily with a potato peeler after roasting. When it cools, chop the butternut squash into 1 inch cubes.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a large stock pot. Add diced onions and saute. Chop ginger and garlic, and toss them in the pot when your onions begin to brown. Add salt, pepper and fennel seeds. Continue frying another thirty seconds, taking care not to burn the garlic. Now, add the butternut squash cubes, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil.

3. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes. Then mash with a potato masher, or puree in a blender. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the finished soup.

4. Serve hot with a hearty hunk of bread!

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

Comments & Impressions of 'Butternut Squash Soup With Fennel, Ginger & Garlic'

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(4.80 out of 5 stars) 10 reviews

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I made the Butternut Squash Soup with Fennel, Ginger & Garlic from your website and WOW was it good! I had it with a warm whole wheat roll drizzled with ghee. YUM! Thanks for the amazing recipe!

- Shelly Frampton, Paulsboro, NJ, 02-17-10 (Reply)
Made this and it was delicious, wholesome, satisfying. The pepper and ginger go further than you'd expect to add some heat to the pallet. I had to add more salt however. Thank you!
- Andrea, Missoula, MT, 10-13-11 (Reply)
How do you think this would work with fresh pumpkin in place of the squash?
- Lorraine, Syosset, NY, 10-24-12 (Reply)
I just made this soup today, it was delicious with a few modifications. After the cooking process, I blended it in a blender with a 1/4 cup of coconut milk. Very thick, creamy and filling on a cold winter day, Yum!
- Dina, Thousand oaks, CA, 01-13-13 (Reply)
This is fabulous. I used cinnamon instead of garlic and almond milk instead of water and it was so delicious. I garnished it with cilantro and coconut. I am not sure if this is right for my dosha (Kapha) but we loved it and felt well after.
- Naomi, 01-23-13 (Reply)
It would be great to print the recipe, nutrition info and photo of meal- l on one page of paper.
- Tm, 11-14-13 (Reply)
Is it necessary to peel the squash? If organic or otherwise...the skin can be tough but blended together easily...I suppose.
- claudia, Durham, NC, 11-14-13 (Reply)
Hello. I'm new to this site. Is all of the prep for this recipe? It doesn't seem to finish...??? Am I missing something?
- Sarah, IL, 11-22-13 (Reply)
Loved this recipe its very tasty & satisfying this will definitely be one of my favourites....Ann,Red Deer,Alta.
- Ann Cousins, 11-22-13 (Reply)
Yes, that is all to the recipe. We added peeling the squash also!
- John Immel, Asheville, NC, 11-25-13 (Reply)
I see butternut squash is heavy, cold and sweet in its qualities and hence aggravating for Kapha, but with its diuretic qualities and ability to drain mucus and excess water, and its easiness to digest, hence perfect food for healing after sickness, it should be rather calming for Kapha.
- Petra, Cambridge, MA, 12-12-13 (Reply)
Have just harvested the first squash from the Allotment garden and am making this soup at the moment! Have stuck to the recipe time! Am nursing a head cold but can actually smell its wondeful aroma . Think this wil be an absolute treat! Thank You!
- Judith, Cardiff, 10-03-14 (Reply)
The butternut squash soup is wonderful!
- , Lynnwood, WA, 10-04-14 (Reply)
I'm assuming you cut the squash in half before baking?
- Laura, 10-22-14 (Reply)
Making this now and looking forward to it. But why doesn't the instruction indicate if the squash should be cut before roasting or do you just put the whole thing in the oven to roast. You seem to think we would automatically know?
- Cindy Nelson, Healdsburg, CA, 11-17-14 (Reply)
love this
- , 01-25-15 (Reply)
Amazing and so simple!
- Madara, 07-03-16 (Reply)
This is the second version of the soup I found on this site. The first (with coconut milk) was so bland I was disappointed enough to add my own ideas to spice it up. I think this recipe is excellent but I combined the 1/2c coconut milk instead of just water. It gives the soup exactly what I think it needs. Use less water for thicker soup. Very nice.
- , 12-17-16 (Reply)
Delicious and fiiling soup; the flavors are perfectly balanced. Easy to prepare.
- CHARLENE PEARCE, Hendersonville, NC, 01-27-17 (Reply)
Delicious and also i'm weaning my 6 month old baby at the moment and he loved it too!
- Sandra, 03-15-17 (Reply)

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Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

What is Ayurveda?

Learn about Ayurveda from the author of this article and founder of Joyful Belly,
John Immel.

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