You will need:
- Squash, medium sized, a pumpkin will do just fine
- Onion, 1 white, peeled and sliced into 6 chunks
- Garlic, 3 cloves, to roast in their skins
- Olive oil, a good glug
- Stock, vegetable, dissolved in 600ml of hot water
- Ginger, 2cm chunk peeled and roughly chopped
- Nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground
- Paprika, ½ teaspoon ground
- Chilli flakes, ½ teaspoon
- Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Seeds, (pumpkin, linseeds & sesame) 1 tablespoon of each, toasted to dress
- Cooking equipment (baking tray, oven, blender/soup maker, pot, frying pan, knife, chopping board, bowls & spoons)
Spicey Squash Soup
Taken from ‘LEON Happy Soup’s by Rebecca Seal & John Vincent
– serves 4
This is a super simple vegan soup with plenty of punch for those cold winter days ahead. Roasting the squash gives it a creamy texture and the chilli and lime add a warm and refreshing kick. It’s also really good for you, and a great way to use up those extra pumpkins after Halloween.
Heat the oven to 200c 400f gas mark 6.
Pumpkins are high in fibre and sweeter than other squash, so a great choice for this recipe. Prepare the pumpkin by peeling it and scooping out the seeds and stringy parts inside (set aside for the compost and dry the seeds to grow later in the year). Cut the flesh into large chunks and place them in a baking tray with a good glug of oil and the garlic cloves in their skins. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, then once removed from the heat, squeeze out the garlic and remove the skins.
Whilst the pumpkin is roasting, sauté the ginger for a minute in a pan by cooking it in some oil, then add the stock, nutmeg, paprika, chilli flakes and pumpkin chunks when they are ready. Bring to a simmer and after a minute remove from the heat and blend in a jug blender (or soup maker). This is a great soup to make in batches, so prepare to store some in the freezer to enjoy on a rainy day.
When serving the soup, its lovely to add some nutty tasting roasted seeds and a squeeze of lime. Just heat the seeds in a frying pan until they begin to pop and puff, then remove from the heat before they burn and serve in a side dish along with your sliced lime. Perfection!
Health benefits of pumpkin soup:
Source: ‘Healing Foods’ by Neal’s Yard Remedies
Pumpkins help fight inflammation, lower risk of heart disease and stroke, promote bowel regularity, and support a healthy pregnancy
Onions have a powerful antibiotic action, help lower cholesterol, and feed good bacteria in the gut.
Garlic is a natural anti-coagulant, helps strengthen the immune system, removes toxins and pollutants, and contains anti-cancer substances.
Olive oil lowers cholesterol, helps to control blood sugar levels, and protects against heart disease.
Nutmeg helps fight the effect of stress, it’s an adaptogen so can stimulate and sedate according to the body’s needs.
Chillies help remove toxins from the body, help lower cholesterol, reduce appetite cravings, and help clear congestion.
Pepper aids digestion, stimulates appetite, helps detoxify the body, eases lung and bronchial infections, relieves shock and stress, and can even halt cancer…respect!
Squash seeds all squash seeds are edible and are high in healthy fat, protein and fibre, yet low carbohydrate making them great for heart health as well as prostate and urinary problems.
Sesame seeds are a good source of vitamin E, promoting healthy skin and hair, great for removing toxins from the body, also high in calcium for bone and teeth health.
Linseeds are particularly good for heart health and are also beneficial to the eyes, joints, and brain health. Awesome!