Struggling for inspiration on how to stay healthy even when you come tired from work? Well, tell you what….you are not alone! 🙂 This healthy, wholesome squash soup is a tasty and easy midweek dinner meal that will give you all those nutrients your body needs this winter time. In true The Organic Cookery style it’s making use of your seasonal veggies and plus it looks pretty so should be a delight to eat, even for the fussiest of us.
So…why is this squash soup so good for you?
For those of us who are concerned about avoiding carbs but still wanting to feel full then squash is a great source of complex carbohydrates (around half of its content) as well as fibre. It’s jam packed full of nutrients (like alpha and beta carotene – no wonder it’s brightly orange!, vitamin C, manganese and magnesium, folate) which help keeping our heart healthy. Also its folate content makes it a great choice for our pregnant ladies (deficiency of this B vitamin can lead to birth defects associated with brain and spine).
NOTE: the get all of these nutrients it is important to buy organic as squashes easily absorb heavy metals and toxins from the ground.
Lentils contain vast amounts of iron and molybdenum great to ensure that oxygen is transported through the blood stream which is essential in burning energy (remember that all of our internal organs cannot function without oxygen). They are a great source of vitamin B1 which helps regulate the nervous system as well as insoluble fibre which means it helps in lowering the cholesterol (the bad one that is!).
Now back to the squash soup recipe! This recipe makes a soup for one but just duplicate if you have a special someone you want to share with or triple/quadruple if you feel like you want to share with more! Sharing is caring after all:).
- 1 small squash (I have used onion squash but there is a great variety to choose from: Crown Prince, Pattipans, Small Sugar Pumpkin, Spaghetti, Lil’ orange Mon, Sweet Lightning, Delicata, Festival or Celebration!)
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 carrot
- 1/2 parnsip
- 1/4 celeriac (or you can use 2 small potatoes if you wish)
- 1/4 cup of red lentils (I used red lentils as they cook faster but you can use any kind of lentils)
- a few springs of parsley (leave 1 for garnish)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Cut the lid off the squash and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
NOTE: You can use the seeds as well as they are a great source of fats and nutrients. Just wash them and pop them in the oven with some salt until they become beautifully roasted. They are a great healthy snack to have in front of the TV…just beware that cracking the seeds open with your teeth to release them from the shell might mean noise…so not so great for a cinema atmosphere :).
Season the squash with salt, pepper and pop the coconut oil (you don’t need to melt it) and bay leaf in the cavity.
Roast for 30 min until done. Depending on the size it might take longer or less. To check if it is done gently push a fork through the flesh. If it easily goes through then it’s done. Also, the skin of the squash will look darker and slightly blistered so that is another way of checking:).
Make the soup. While the squash is roasting, cut the onion, carrot and parsnip in small cubes (the smaller the quicker they cook). Soften these for around 4 min in a bit of coconut oil. In Italian this would make a soffritto. Add the celeriac or potatoes cut in bitesized pieces and cook for 3-4 min until slightly softened. Pour a coup of water, lentils and tomato puree and let it simmer on low heat for around 8 min or until the celeriac and lentils are cooked. Scatter parsley towards the end of cooking and season with a salt and pepper. The great thing is that you can adjust the consistency as you wish…if you want it more stewy rather than soupy add less water or the other way around!
When the squash is ready, take the bay leaf out and then gently pour the soup in the cavity. decorate with a parsley and it’s done. As you eat the soup make sure you scoop the flesh from inside the squash! It’s absolutely divine! Enjoy!