Thursday, 7 November 2013

Butternut Squash spicy soup

'Tis the season for soup is it not? Heating is on, the slipper socks are out (come on...we've all got some...), root veg is in the fridge, time to start comfort eating.
Well I didn't know you could eat the skin of a butternut squash. But now I do. It's so tough isn't it, such hard work to cut through. With this recipe I found in my husband's birthday present Ginger Pig Farmhouse cook book you chop it into small pieces keeping the skin on as they say it contains most of the vitamins. So as well as this being a comforting soup on a rainy day, it's a super good for you soup too. 



Ingredients:
900g butternut squash (mine was just over)
25g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed, peeled and diced
75g cashew nuts, chopped
2 tsp curry powder (I used madras curry powder)
sea salt
pepper
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock

Remember to wash the squash as you're going to eat the skin. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, then roughly chop into 5cm pieces. No peeling the skin, hoorah! 
Heat the butter and oil in a large pan, add the onion and saute gently for 5 minutes without browning. 
Add the garlic, cashew nuts, curry powder and seasoning. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Add all the chopped up squash and stock. 

Bring to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes. I simmered for about 35 minutes but I was in disbelief that the skin would be soft enough to whiz! I then put the soup into the blender to whiz until smooth or you could use a hand held blender. I actually find this easier but this week my hand held blender which I love decided to give up *adds to Christmas list*. 
Serve with some chopped  coriander on top if you have some. 
Serves 4. 

Here are some facts about Butternut squash you may not have known before.... 


  • Butternut squash contains many vital anti-oxidants and vitamins. 
  • It is one of the low calorie vegetables, it provides just 45 calories per 100g. 
  • It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol
  • It is a Rich source of fibre
  • It has more vitamin A than that in pumpkin
  • At 10630 IU per 100 g, it is perhaps the single vegetable source in the Cucurbitaceae family with the highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 354% of RDA
  • Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good eye-sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help the body protected against lung and oral cavity cancers
  • It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid
  • It has similar mineral profile as that in pumpkin, containing adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus
  • Butternut squash seeds are a good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids that benefit for heart health (every Halloween I am full of intentions to save the seeds when I am hurrying to dig out the insides before trick or treaters arrive...but it's not happened yet). In addition, they are rich in protein, minerals, and numerous health-benefiting vitamins

So now you know. Go and get yourself a squash and get chopping.

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