Butternut Squash, Apple and Ginger Soup

We are now officially in fall and I can tell, its chilly in a morning so I’ve had to dig out my warm coat, the leaves have turned lovely shades of red and orange in the village and pumpkin spice lattes are being advertised at every starbucks! I do love autumn, we are still having nice bright blue skies and now that it’s getting chilly I am cooking up lots of hearty soups and stews!

I decided to make a butternut squash soup because they are now in abundance, it’s also rich and delicious! The ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon really add warmth and flavor to the soup and the apple compliments the squash nicely

Making your own soup is so much tastier than the stuff sitting on shelves for months, its also very cheap and you can make the most of the vegetables that are in season. It’s always quite surprising to me how much goes into blended soups, it’s a great way to get your daily fruit and veg intake (butternut squash is technically a fruit!).

Butternut squash is packed full of health benefits, it is high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, B6, it also helps fight against breast cancer with its high amount of beta-carotene and against heart disease with its folate levels and carotenoids.

I love the variety with soup, you can have them chunky or blended, creamy or broth based and the ingredients are endless, I think next time I make this type of soup I am going to make gf bacon croutons, they would be really tasty with it.

I stirred in a little Dairy Free sour cream and served with toast! Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Onion Finely Chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 tablespoon of dairy free butter
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 butternut squash chopped into small pieces
  • 2 apples, skinned and chopped
  • 600 mls of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk (the drinking kind)
  • 1 thumb of ginger finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • a little grated nutmeg

Directions

Melt your dairy free butter over a medium heat then add your onion, garlic, celery and cook down untill soft (about 5 mins) then add in your squash and apple pieces and cook for a further 3 minutes. Pour in your chicken stock, bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Put the soup into a blender and puree until smooth then add back to your rinsed pan and add in the coconut milk, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and season. Give it a good stir and then serve with gluten-free toast and if you like a little dairy free sour cream.

Chorizo, Chickpea and Spinach Soup

On Wednesdays I like to cook up something quick and easy but really tasty! It is that part of the week when you just want to either put your feet up and relax or get out and do something fun. So the mid-week meal series I will bring you, will have you enjoying your evenings without spending too much time cooking or cleaning!

This soup is amazing, I was looking to cook something full of flavor and this hit the spot, it’s a Jamie Oliver recipe and as usual I wasn’t disappointed and have cooked it quite a few times now.

 It is really simple to make, you do have a bit of chopping but it is worth it and it makes plenty so you will have some for lunch the next day as well.

The ingredients are great together, chorizo and chickpeas are a favorite combination of mine so are prawns and chorizo, which I think would also work well  in this soup. The spinach and tomato are very robust, and the chickpeas’ are lovely and creamy. It will even have those people who find soups a bit boring (like Chris) asking you to make it!!

At First I was a bit put off by the idea of grating boiled egg into it and almost skipped it but I am so glad I didn’t its amazing, it add’s a nice richness and really finishes the soup off. So if you are a little skeptical like me, give it ago and I promise you will love it. Apparently that is a very popular way to have your soup in South America and I am fully embracing it.

It’s not a pretty soup but what it lacks in looks it certainly makes up for in taste! I made a couple of changes to the recipe I skipped the ham and instead doubled the amount of chorizo i also added some halved new potatoes which work really well.

adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • 3 chorizo sausages
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 600 grams of spinach, sliced
  • 8 tomatoes chopped and seeds removed
  • 1 14oz can of chickpeas drained and washed
  • 8 new potatoes, halved.
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 3 boiled eggs
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Chop your chorizo and fry in a little olive oil over a medium heat for a few minutes, then add the celery, onion and garlic, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes without removing the lid. When finished give it a stir and add your spinach, chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 mins.

When that is done remove a third of the soup and blend it in a food processor then add it back into the pot, this thickens the soup. Add in 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and give it a good stir. Spoon into bowls and grate some of your boiled egg on the top and enjoy.

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

On Wednesdays I like to cook up something quick and easy but really tasty! It is that part of the week when you just want to either put your feet up and relax or get out and do something fun. So the mid-week meal series I will bring you will have you enjoying your evenings without spending too much time cooking or cleaning!

We are still getting some rainy days now and again in Vancouver, I have my friend visiting from the UK and after spending a lovely hot weekend in Osoyoos for Chris’s Birthday we came back to a very rainy Monday! But it was actually nice after all the sun and salads to be able to cook up something comforting! We made a few  different soups and pesto and olive bread! Those recipes will follow when it gets a bit chillier!

This is a nice hearty soup that is really easy to make, it’s also handy if you have any left over turkey or chicken which will make it even quicker. Be sure you use wild rice as it gives the dish a lovely rich nutty flavour and it’s really good for you. Wild rice has more fiber, protein and iron and less fat than brown rice, it is also high in vitamin B and contains all of the essential amino acids.

Ingredients:

  • 3 leeks sliced
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 14 green beans, trimmed
  • 6 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 450 grams Turkey Breast Fillets chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of Thyme finely chopped
  • 946 mls of chicken stock
  • 1/2 wild rice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Directions:

Saute the leeks in a tablespoon of olive oil on a medium low heat for 5 mins, add the garlic, mushrooms and rice then simmer for a further 2 minutes. Add the stock and remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 40 mins covered. Serve and enjoy!