RECIPE OF THE WEEK

My favourite soup – Butternut Squash or pumpkin & Cauliflower Soup with Ginger and Chillies

Now the weather is getting colder this is my staple soup recipe. It is always slightly different each time depending on what is left over in the fridge but it’s packed full of brain boosting and bone strengthening ingredients and its quick and easy.

Top tip: keep your fresh ginger in the freezer, then grate it directly in to the soup, skin and all. I use a parmesan grater resting across the pan of the bubbling soup as the steam helps defrost the ginger slightly making it easier to grate.

Ingredients
1 medium butternut squash or pumpkin
1 onion
2 celery sticks
2 carrots
1/2 cauliflower
2 large handfuls of washed spinach
2 large garlic cloves
1 red chilli, seeds removed (or chuck seeds in too if you like it spicy)
2-3 inches of grated ginger (more if you like it more gingery.. if that’s a word?!)
1.5 litres chicken stock (bone broth or veg stock if you are vegetarian)

Method
1. Prepare all your vegetables, I chop the celery and onion fairly finely, the rest of them can be chopped chunky fashion.
2. Fry the onion and celery on a medium heat for a few minutes until softened, don’t let them burn.
3. Keeping the heat fairly low add the crushed garlic and chillies. Fry for a few minutes.
4. Meanwhile boil the kettle and prepare your stock.
5. Add all the other prepared vegetables. Cook over a medium low heat coating everything in the oniony garlicky mixture.
6. Add 1 litre of the stock and stir, add more if need be.
7. Get your ginger (either from the freezer, see tip above) or fresh and grate it in to the soup mixture, I love ginger so you can do as much as you like really. 
8. Simmer for 20 minutes. Check if the vegetables are cooked.
9. Let it cool for a bit then get an electric whizzer and blend it all together. Add a bit more stock if the consistency is too thick.
10. Roughly chop the spinach and add this to the mixture with a good few twists of black pepper. Give it a stir and leave to wilt in the soup mixture for a few minutes. 
11. Serve immediately or leave to cool and freeze later. You can add a blob of creme fresche too with some chopped parsley, chives or coriander to give it extra zing.

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