For tonight’s dinner I made a butternut squash soup and it was delicious. I know what you are all thinking, soup in this hot weather! Well, there is method in my madness. Firstly, I roasted the butternut squash and carrots in the oven this morning. Then I put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it reduce down for about 7 hours on a low heat. The end result was lovely and we had a healthy meal without standing at the stove for hours.
Butternut squash is one of the most common varieties of winter squash available and it’s technically a fruit because it contains seeds. It is high in dietary fibre making it an exceptionally heart friendly choice. Also it provides significant amounts of potassium which is important for bone health and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems.
The colour of a butternut squash signals an abundance of nutrients known as carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease. As if this wasn’t enough the humble squash has anti-inflammatory effects. By adding this winter vegetable into your diet it could help protect your body against inflammation-related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Butternut squash is a great vegetable packed with lots of health benefits that we enjoyed in this easy, simple soup.
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Baking tray
- Slow cooker
- Food processor
- Butternut squash x 1 large
- Carrots x 2 medium
- Olive oil
- Leek x 1 large
- Chicken stock or vegetable stock (if making it vegan) – please see http://www.alexisrealfoodwagon.com – x 500ml
- Coriander 1 small handful
- Orange x 1 juice and zest
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Peel the butternut squash (I use a potato peeler to remove the skin).
- Remove the seeds with the spoon and chop the squash into large chunks.
- Next peel the carrot and then chop into large pieces as well.
- Place these in the baking tray and drizzle olive oil all over until well coated.
- Put in the oven for 40 – 50 minutes or until the squash has a golden brown colour.
- Meanwhile, chop the leek into half centimetre pieces.
- Once the squash and carrots have cooked add them to the slow cooker along with the leek and chicken or vegetable stock.
- Leave the slow cooker on a low heat for about 7 – 8 hours and stir occasionally.
- Turn the slow cooker off and leave to cool for a while.
- Then transfer the ingredients to the food processor and blend for about 5 minutes.
- Add the coriander and the juice and zest of the orange while the soup is blending.
- If the soup is too thick, add a little bit of water until the soup is at a consistency you enjoy.
- Transfer back to the slow cooker on a low heat until ready to serve.
- Finally add yogurt or if vegan, coconut cream.
Tonight I made this dinner with cheesy croutons on sour dough bread for my husband and son. I had my dinner with chickpea flour wraps and a little bit of soft cheese spread on top. Also I added yogurt to the soup and used chicken stock. However, if you wanted to make this a vegetarian or vegan meal you could swap out the chicken stock for vegetable and the yogurt for coconut cream. However you decide to eat this yummy soup, as always, enjoy!