Recipe of the Week: Spiced butternut squash soup

Spiced butternut squash soup.
Spiced butternut squash soup.

The colder weather is setting in so that means it’s soup season!

Butternut squash is very high in Vitamin A and also contains a good amount of Vitamin C.

It also has excellent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, essential for keeping us healthy over the colder months.

INGREDIENTS

1 butternut squash

1 tsp coconut oil

2 large shallots or 1 white onion

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/2 tbsp mild curry powder

400ml coconut milk

200ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp creme fraiche

chilli flakes / parsley to decorate

INSTRUCTIONS

Peel the squash and cut into one inch cubes.

The cubes don’t have to be exact, just try to cut all the pieces relatively the same size so that they cook evenly. Keep the seeds.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the shallots or onion.

Fry gently for two to three minutes until the onions begin to soften.

Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and fry for another one to two minutes, stirring continuously.

Add the squash, coconut milk and vegetable stock to the mixture. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the squash is soft.

In the meantime rinse the seeds in water and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Dry fry the seeds in a frying pan for two minutes, turning constantly to ensure they don’t burn.

Once the butternut squash is fully cooked, remove it from the heat and either transfer to a blender (you may have to do it in batches) or blend with a hand stick.

Serve the soup with the toasted seeds and a swirl of creme fraiche and any other toppings.

YOUR TRAINER: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award-winning personal trainer based in Seaham. The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year. Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012. For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email graham@eastcoast-fitness.com or visit www.eastcoast-fitness.com