Spicy butternut squash (and leftover veg) soup
This recipe is from our very own resident nutritionist, Jill Pitt, so it’s sure to be good and wholesome as well as a tasty way to use up your leftover veg. Useful nutritional information is at the end.
1 medium size butternut squash
1 small potato
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
250ml vegetable or vegan stock
2 tablespoons milk or soya milk
A handful fresh coriander ( can use dried or frozen paste)
Small piece of peeled fresh ginger
Additional spices –optional*
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 small dried chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of black pepper
How to Cook
- Slice up butternut squash and place on a roasting tin
- Pop into the oven for 20 mins at 190C
- Steam carrots and swede
- Place oil, garlic, onion, ginger and additional optional spices in a large saucepan and sizzle for 5 mins
- Add roasted squash and cooked carrots, swede and potatoes and stock
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins
- Take off the heat, leave to cool for 10 mins
- Pour into a blender to blend to a smooth texture
- Put blended soup back into saucepan to re-heat
10. Add milk and another handful of chopped coriander
Serve with crusty wholemeal bread or quick croutons
*Add additional spices for a very hot and spicy grown-up taste. For kids probably best to just add ginger and coriander and a little black pepper so it isn’t too spicy for them.
Souper Douper Soups
Squashes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and carrots have two things in common:
- Yep you’ve guessed it they are all orange in colour
- They are super sources of Beta carotene (a form of vitamin A)
Why are they good for you?
Squashes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and carrots are all delicious roasted which brings out their flavour before adding to soups and stews. Orange/ yellow/red colour vegetables are great sources of beta carotene which converts to Vitamin A in the body. They also contain a lot of starch needed for energy and fibre to keep our digestive system working properly.
The sciency bit
Beta carotene in vegetables is converted to Vitamin A (also known as Retinol) which acts as an antioxidant and can help the body fight infections by strengthening its immunity.
Other important functions include:
- helping us to see in dim light
- keeping our skin and the linings of some parts of the body, such as the nose, healthy
Other great sources of Beta Carotene
Vegs: Tomatoes, red and yellow peppers; green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
Fruits: apricots, mangoes and melon
Myth buster: You don’t need to take vitamin A supplements in the winter, you should get all the vitamin A you need from eating a wide variety of foods including fruits, vegetables and dairy products.
Top Tips for healthier and tastier soups
- Roast unpeeled for extra fibre
- Avoid adding extra salt, use herbs to flavour instead
- Use wholegrain breads for croutons or to accompany soup to add extra fibre
- Make it as spicy as you like – dry fry spices first to seal in the flavour with the vegetables
- Be creative – Experiment with different combinations of vegetables
- Add small amounts of cooked potato, rice and/or mini macaroni to bulk up the carbs content