Winter means one thing – soup season. There is nothing more satisfying than a big bowl of soup for tackling those cold, dark nights, but put away those tin openers (sorry Heinz) and get chopping some fresh produce for a nutrient rich, hearty version. Making your own soup is soup-er easy [hangs head in shame] and can be whipped up quickly in the evenings or even be left to cook slowly for a few hours on a low, low heat. Butternut squash is packed with vitamins, which along with the carrots and fresh ginger (and basically every ingredient in the soup) can boost your immune system to help prevents colds over the chilly winter months.
Spiced Butternut squash, carrot and cauliflower soup
Makes 3.5 Litres / Serves about 6 or more
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 garlic gloves
2 celery sticks
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1.2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
Asmall chunk of fresh ginger
1 large butternut squash, chopped into small cubes
1/2 a large cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 cup red split lentils, rinsed
2 litres of organic vegetable stock/boullion
Sea salt + pepper
Finely chop the onions, ginger, celery and carrots, and prepare the rest of the veg. In a large pot, fry the onion and garlic in coconut oil until brown, add the carrots and celery and fry for a couple of minutes. Combine the spices to the pot, rinse and add the lentils, cubed butternut squash, cauliflower and stock, and then cook for about an hour on a low-medium heat. As I said before, you can also keep this cooking for longer on a low heat, until you’re ready to blend. Turn off the heat and pour the soup mixture in batches into a blender, and blitz until soup-y. If you like, you can also keep a small portion of the original mixture and then add it to the blended soup to leave some lumps. Transfer the soup back into the original pot and season with more sea salt/pepper and fresh rosemary. I love to top my soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper, black pepper and black sesame seeds.
When I made this soup, I hadn’t intended to make quite as much as I did and so this recipe yields a massive pot. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your quantities, or alternatively, you could make a big batch and freeze in portions to use throughout the month for a quick lunch/dinner fix.