Butternut Squash & Chickpea Soup

This week’s recipe might seem simple and it is, however, it’s an important one as it teaches you how to get texture into your soup.  This is a great to skill to have especially in between seasons, do you want to do a creamed (totally blended) starter soup or a chunky stew style soup to take in your flask and fill you up all afternoon at work.

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You will need:

  • An onion
  • A butternut squash
  • A tin of chick peas
  • 1.5 tsp chili flakes
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • Chicken stock
  • Coriander to garnish
  • You could also add tomatoes if you want

  1. Heat a teaspoon of oil to the pot (coconut is best, if using that add a bit more as the flavour adds to the dish.)
  2.  Chop onion and add to pan with the chili and cumin, give it a stir round to coat the onions. If it’s too dry add a little bit of water. Cook on a med/low heat for at least 5 mins but do not burn the onions because that will make your soup bitter.
  3. Peel your squash using a veggie (potato) peeler, it’s by far the easiest way. Remove seeds and then chop into chunks. Add the chunks to the pot and coat with the onion and spice. This will give you much more flavour than adding the water before you've coated the squash.
  4. Add just enough stock to cover the dry ingredients so they just about start to float. Put a lid on and boil for about 20 mins.
  5. Then add the chickpeas, they're already cooked so you just need to heat them. This is where you'd add your coriander if you're using it.
  6. You could serve your soup like this if you want it super chunky, however, I think it’s much better with what I call a 3 way blend.
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Take out half the soup and blend the rest so a thick base is formed.  Then separate a good handful of the chick peas as you'll need to have a few whole when plating up.

Add back in 1/4 of the mix and rough blend that so it’s smaller but not creamed. Then add the final bit and give it another blast.

Plate up and place a few chickpeas in the middle of bowl and scatter with fresh coriander.  The green looks stunning against the orange of the squash.  I didn't have any in so I just used chives. They worked well.

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TIPS  

Adding the right about of water/stock to soup is crucial.  Too much and you have a watery soup, too little and it’s too thick.  It’s easy to rectify if after blending its too thick just add morewater or stock. If you're unsure before you blend just take the water part out and add it back in until you get a desired consistency.

Adding red lentils is a great way to thicken a soup and get some protein in to it.

Onions are a great base for giving a dish flavour.  In Indian cooking, the onion is cooked low for a long time as it’s that long cooking process that draws out the most flavour.

I used this blending method for almost all soups I take to work because I want something to fill me up.
Sometimes I don't blend but get my potato masher in about it. That's particular good with sweet potato.

Adding seeds to cooked soup before serving is another good tip for adding extra goodness.

Experiment blending you'll be amazed what a difference it can make!

Love & Light
Evie
Xxxx