We had a small squash in our veg box last week and this afternoon I was cold to the bone after venturing outside for a short walk – I think it was 5C – so I decided to use the squash in some soup. The squash had been sitting chopped up in the fridge for a couple of days and needed to be used. My husband does it for me and leaves it in the fridge so it’s available when I want to use it.
I didn’t exactly know what I was going to put in with it, but automatically reached for some carrots and saw the baking apples on the shelf. We still have a few left from the tree, but they are starting to go a bit soft and the freezer is already overflowing with stewed apple and crumbles, I thought I’d try one in the soup.
While I was chopping, I mused over what herbs or spices would go with it and decided on ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. I was feeling cold, tired and achy, a friend had been coughing over me while recovering from a nasty flu-like virus and I felt the need to protect myself: these three spices are not only warming but also anti-inflammatory. The squash, carrots and celery are rich in anti-oxidants, while the humble onion has long been used in Ayervedic medicine to relieve coughs, fevers and flu as well as to reduce pain and inflammation in joints. I was leaving nothing to chance! I had a big bowl of it for dinner that night, I thought the combination worked really well and I would certainly make it again.
Here’s the full recipe – you might need to adjust the spices, I just guessed and I loved it. I could feel the ginger warming my insides and the one apple was enough to give it a fruity flavour, almost sweet and sour.
Made enough for 3-4 servings
(Organic where possible, vegan and gluten-free)
1 Tsp Coconut Oil
1 Small Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
1 Small Onion, chopped
2 Carrots, scrubbed and chopped (peel left on)
1 Thin Stick Celery, from the inner part of the bunch, not too strongly flavoured, with leaves, chopped
1 Medium Baking Apple, peeled and chopped
Approx. 750 mls Vegetable Stock (I used a Kallo stock cube) – enough to cover the vegetables
Ground Ginger, Turmeric and Cinnamon
Sprig of Watercress or Spinach or Rocket to serve (optional)
Melt the oil and sweat the vegetables with half a tsp of ground ginger, a couple of shakes each of turmeric and cinnamon and some black pepper for a few minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
Add the apple, mix well.
Add stock and slowly bring to a simmer.
Cook on the lowest heat for about 25-30 minutes, until everything is cooked but not mushy.
Blend to the thickness you like – I like to leave a little texture.
Serve with a twist of black pepper, a sprig of watercress and some warm seeded bread.
(When I had a second bowl the next day, I added a small handful of mixed watercress/spinach/rocket when I served it and I really liked it).
Please note: there is no added salt in the recipe because the stock cube had salt in it.
We had it with Savoury Vegan Glutenfree ‘Cheese’ & Herb Scones
Copyright: Chris McGowan
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