Autumn is great.
The chill in the morning air that finishes the work the coffee started.
The sun-rays that still feel warm.
The generally brilliant weather.
Getting out my winter wardrobe and feeling actually excited about wearing the same old things I was so fed up with at the end of last winter. Genius.
The beautiful colours! The giant ivy covering my neighbour’s house makes me stop in my steps and go aaaaaaah every single day.
Autumn makes me want to go for walks in the park, as many as possible, before it is November and it gets grey, dark and staying in your pyjamas all weekend suddenly seems like an amazing idea.
But let’s not get into that.
Whenever I am in the supermarket these days, I like to pick up a butternut squash.
I might not know what to do with it straight away, but they are such versatile veggies (Roast them! Cube them! Puree them!), keep well and look dashing in my fruit and veg bowl.
You need more convincing? How about this: Butternut squash is surprisingly filling despite its low calorie count. It is actually one of the most nutritious and healthiest vegetables you can eat. It contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as significant amounts of digestive fibre. 200 grams of butternut squash deliver ca 1/3 of your daily amount of vitamin C. It has anti-inflammatory properties, is good for regulating blood sugar and maintaining eye health!
Enough science. So this very handsome butternut squash had been holding court on my kitchen counter for about a week until I brought a second, equally pretty specimen home today. And decided it was time for one of my favourites: Butternut Squash Soup with Coriander. This soup is perfect for freezing, so feel free to double or triple the recipe. And it tastes even better with my Super-speedy Spelt Bread.
- 2 tsp rapeseed oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 5 cm piece root ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 medium butternut squash, de-seeded and cut into cubes
- 1 l good quality vegetable stock
- Salt & pepper
- To serve:
- 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
- Greek or full fat yogurt
- Roasted pumpkin seeds
- Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions, garlic and ginger and sweat for 5 minutes. I like to cheat a bit and use shop-bought pureed garlic in oil to save time.
- Measure in the cumin and cook for a minute, then add the butternut squash and pour in the stock (it should cover the veggies). Note: it is not necessary to go through the hassle of peeling the squash – the skin will soften and tastes just as good as the rest.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to an excited simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, dry-roast your pumpkin seeds in a separate pan until they turn a golden brown and start popping. This only takes a minute, but make sure you keep moving them around frequently; they burn in no time if you don’t watch out!
- Puree the butternut squash soup with a blender until smooth (throw in some coriander leaves if you like them as much as I do)
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with a generous spoonful of yogurt, a sprinkling of coriander leaves and the roasted pumpkin seeds.