Butternut Squash and Green Tomato Quinoa Stew

I don't know if it's our sudden use of the heat (we just turned it on the other day) or if I have a little cold, but this morning I woke up with a sore nose and sniffle. It's probably a combo of the dry heat (time to bust out the humidifiers!) and a autumn preschool bug from my kids, but to me, there is no better way than to heal the body through real food and rest.

In fact, I actually think the key to staying healthy all winter (or mostly) is simple: Vitamin D, homemade chicken broth, exercise, lots of coconut oil, wearing a hat, and getting enough sleep. And hand-washing -- with real, soap -- not that antibacterial kind either. Of course I could probably write a book on why I think those things are a recipe for winter health, but since this is a soup post, I'm just going to focus on the benefits of traditional chicken stock -- like the kind we carry from 100 Bowls.

Real, traditional stock from an actual chicken will give your body a jolt of essential amino acids and minerals that will do everything from boost your immunity against colds (and a slew of other nasty stuff) while also doing everything from reducing cellulite to strengthening your teeth and bones. So stock up (ha ha...get it!?) on real broth and slurp that soup. Here is a great one to try with this week's butternut squash. Cheers to good health!

Butternut Squash and Green Tomato Quinoa Stew

1 onion, chopped
3 small leeks, white part only, scrubbed and chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
5 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 cups green tomatoes, halved (regular grape tomatoes would be great here...I just wanted to use what I had left in my mangled backyard garden)
1 cup quinoa
1 quart chicken stock (homemade, traditional broth is of course best!)
2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped
1 bunch beet greens, rinsed well and chopped
1 bay leaf
fresh parsley, for garnish

In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, saute your onion and leeks in coconut oil until translucent and browned.

Toss in your tomatoes and carrots and saute until they're somewhat browned as well...a good five minutes or so on medium high heat. Next, toss in your squash, and beet greens. Cook covered on medium to low heat for ten minutes or so to steam these veggies. Then, remove about two cups of the steamed squash (it's easy to just scoop it out with a spoon) and put on a plate. Smash with a fork and then return to the soup pot. This is just to thicken the broth. You should still have lots of chunks of squash left.

Then, add in your quinoa, stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve piping hot.