As you all know I love butternut squash, it’s my favourite winter vegetable. I really do eat it in every form at the moment – roasted stuffed with quinoa, mashed like potatoes as heavenly side dish, pureed as a creamy pasta sauce and baked as a salad filler – so it only seems right that I use it as a soup too!
I’ve never been a huge soup person, not too sound overly greedy but I think my appetite is just too big for soup normally. I don’t really find it especially filling or satisfying, that was until yesterday when I fell completely in love with this soup. I cannot tell you how good it is. The combination of roasted rosemary and thyme squash with spicy jalapeño pepper, a little tangy apple cider vinegar and a homemade carrot and celery stock is just divine. The wide range of ingredients gives it a wonderful rich taste as subtle echoes of each flavour are picked up in each bite. Even better, because squash is such a wonderfully thick vegetable the soup remains perfectly rich and creamy despite having no dairy to thicken it up. It is just amazing, I am totally obsessed. I have to admit that I’ve already re-brought the ingredients to make it again today!
I love how nurturing it feels too, so wonderfully warming and comforting when it’s so cold outside. It’s so awesomely good for you too, with a whole range of nutrition coming from the different veggies. Squash is a perfect winter flu fighter too, did you know that one cup of baked squash gives you nearly five times your daily recommended dose of vitamin A? Which is awesome as this vitamin is essential for a healthy immune system, which we all need during the months of winter colds! That same cup will also dose you up on half your RDA of vitamin C too so you really will ward off that cold. As well as vitamins E and many of the energy-giving B vitamins too, and a whole lot of fibre. It really is the perfect winter soup!
I like to add a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds to my soup too, as they give a wonderful burst of plant protein, which will give you extra energy. But even better they add they perfect crunch to every bite!
- 3 butternut squash
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 small jalapeño or 1/2 a larger one
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 3 or 4 sticks of fresh thyme
- 3 or 4 sticks of fresh rosemary
Optional – pumpkin seeds
Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Then slice your squash into thick rounds, cut off the skin and then cut into cubes. Place these on a roasting dish with a little olive oil, salt, the rosemary and thyme. Bake for about twenty minutes, until the cubes are perfectly soft and tender.
While the squash cooks, peel the carrot and remove the ends of the celery. Then chop them up nice and small and place in a pan with one cup of boiling water, put the lid on and allow them to slowly disintegrate into a stock, after about 12 minutes the veggies should be nice and soft. At this point put them and the water into a liquidizer until a runny liquid forms. Keep this warm to add to the squash once it is ready.
Next, finely chop the jalapeño, removing its seeds first.
When the squash is cooked add it to the blender with the jalapeño, apple cider vinegar. As you blend slowly pour in the stock until you reach your desired consistency.
If you like pumpkin seeds, which I do, toast these while the soup continues to warm. Once they are nice and crunchy stir them into the soup bowl.