As the leaves start to pile up along tree-lined streets, just asking to be crunched underfoot, the stodgy, starchy vegetables I’ve neglected over the summer for crisp, green salads are suddenly au fait in my little kitchen.
When the temperature drops – along with our mood – one of the simplest, and tastiest ways to put a meal on the table and some fire in your belly is to make a good, hearty batch of soup. The best thing about soup is that it’s the Madonna of foodstuffs – constantly re-inventing itself to keep up with the times, seasons, or what you’ve got in your cupboard. Leftover roast chickenAnd just like a 50 year-old doing pelvic thrusts in a leotard, there are some combinations that just don’t work – but keep it fresh, simple and well-seasoned, and you should be on to a winner.
This easy-peasy recipe is adapted from a Covent Garden Soup Company book I picked up for the bargain price of £2 at The Works. I’ve made it a little limier, as I’m a real lime-lover and I didn’t feel it had enough zing, and thrown in some butternut squash for two reasons: 1) it’s zero weightwatchers points and 2)I had some knocking about that I didn’t want to go to waste. You could feasibly add sweet potato or carrots if that’s what you’ve got in your cupboards.
I love combination of the kick of the chilli, the zesty zing of lime, and the texture added by the blizted chick peas; it really makes you feel like you’re getting more bang for your buck. AND, it’s only approx. 120 calories a serving.
The best thing about making your own soup, rather than buying tinned or fresh at the supermarket, is that you know exactly how much salt’s in there. I’ve picked up cans before for a last minute lunch and spotted as much as 3 grams of salt per HALF a can – and let’s face it, who eats half a can?! That’s more than your recommended daily allowance in just one, half-hearted lunch. Let’s do this properly, shall we? Blenders at the ready!
Butternut squash, chickpea and lime soup
- half a large butternut squash
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped/crushed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tin chopped/plum tomatoes
- 1 tin chick peas
- 1 lime – zest and juice of
- 1 large/2 small red chillis
- 1tsp cumin
- 1tsp dried coriander/handful fresh
- 800ml vegetable stock
- Heat your olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onion for 5-10 minutes until softed. Add the garlic, chilli and cumin, and sizzle for another few minutes.
- Throw in your tomatoes and butternut squash, vegetable stock, and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the chick peas, coriander (if dried) lime zest and juice, and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
- Leave it to cool, before blending. Taste and season, before garnishing with the chopped fresh coriander (if using).
Serve this with a crusty fresh bread roll or some tiger bread, and I guarantee it’ll put a big smile on your face.