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This immunity-boosting butternut squash and sweet potato soup is my favourite for autumn and winter. It’s like pure comfort in a bowl. Not only is it filling – it’s super tasty and good for you!

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to find a soup recipe that doesn’t contain onion? It’s really hard! If you’re lucky enough to find one, it often tastes too bland. However, with a family member who can’t eat onion, I’m always on the lookout for healthy, tasty, onion-free soups. This fits the bill!

Butternut squash health benefits

Butternut squash has a relatively mild, lightly sweet and slightly nutty flavour. It’s low in calories, has almost no fat and is a good source of fibre. It’s also packed with vitamins A and C, as well as magnesium, potassium and calcium. The lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene in butternut squash are excellent for your eye health.

According to WebMD, the high potassium in butternut squash can help keep your blood pressure in check, while the fibre helps with blood sugar. It contains a type of fibre that’s not digestible and if you have diabetes, it can help keep your blood sugar from rising after eating.

Sweet potato health benefits

Sweet potatoes are considered superfoods because they have so many health benefits. These high-fibre veggies also have a mild sweet flavour but have a starchier consistency than the squash. They’re rich in nutrients including vitamins B, C and D, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine and zinc.

They also contain carotenoids, which are antioxidants that have been linked with the enhancement of immune system and decreased risk of degenerative diseases like cardiovascular problems, age-related macular degeneration and cataract formation.

NOTE: Sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates and roasting, as suggested below, can raise their glycaemic index and cause your blood sugar to spike. If you have diabetes, ask your doctor or nutritionist to make sure this soup is suitable for you.

The recipe

I tend to only cook recipes that begin with the word “easy” or “quick” and this one is no exception. Here you go:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500 ml vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1.5 cm cubes
  • 1 cup of sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1.5 cm cubes
  • 1/2 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 medium apple, peeled and cored, chopped
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs or Herbs de Provence 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 60 ml kefir milk or cashew cream if you’re vegan (see recipe below)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place squash & sweet potato cubes on a baking tray, drizzle with olive or coconut oil, sprinkle mixed herbs over the top & roast for about 45 min, or until the cubes are soft.
  2. Heat the vegetable broth in a large saucepan and add the apple & celery – bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer until apple & celery are soft.
  3. Add the roasted squash & potatoes to the saucepan, along with the nutmeg, sage and rosemary. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add kefir milk or almond cream.
  5. Place the soup in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. Add salt & pepper to taste.

TIME-SAVING VERSION: Microwave the squash, sweet potato, apple and celery until soft, throw all ingredients into the saucepan, and simmer for 20 min., then continue from Step 4. (Hint: If you’re in the UK, many supermarkets including Waitrose and Tesco sell already peeled and cut butternut squash and sweet potato.)

CASHEW CREAM: Cover 1 cup raw cashew nuts with water and soak overnight, drain and add 120-180 ml water depending on desired thickness of cream. Blend. This will keep in the fridge for 5 days.

I love eating this soup with a huge chunk of wholegrain or sourdough bread for dipping and mopping.

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes!

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