Let me be the first to tell you, drinking alcohol is the worst thing to do in cold weather. Hot soup is the best because the process of digesting food helps to warm you up. (Morgan Freeman)
Butternut Squash Soup
This week, Butternut Squash soup was top of the menu in the Mills household! It is the perfect dish for a cold, Autumnal evening and really quick and easy to make. I love soups to be as thick as possible; when I was young I used to have a Dutch pea soup that was so thick, you could stick a spoon in and it would be held up! I would love to hear what your favourite flavours are, the more unusual the better! Here is my recipe:
Butternut Squash Soup
2 tbsp. butter
2 medium sized butternut squash
1 small onion
1 medium sized leek
1 small sweet potato
1 chicken/Vegetable Knorr stock pot.
Water to cover the vegetables
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. garam masala
2 tbsp. milk
Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop up the butternut squash, onion, leek and sweet potato to small pieces (small enough to be blended afterwards)
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan on a medium to high heat and add the chopped up vegetables. Stir the vegetables so they are covered fully in the butter.
- Turn down to the lowest heat, place a lid on the saucepan and let it reduce for 10 minutes.
- Add boiling water to the vegetables, just enough to cover the vegetables.
- Add the stock pot to the boiling water.
- Leave to simmer for 10-20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the milk and stir
- Blend with a hand blender until smooth.
- Try experimenting and adding any other vegetables.
- You can leave out the curry powder and turmeric, I just like to add spice to my soups.
I always think if you cook once, you should feed twice. If you’re going to make a big chicken and vegetable soup for lunch on Monday, you stick it in the refrigerator and it’s also for Wednesday’s dinner. (Curtis Stone)
This week I decided to spend as little as possible on my weekly shop. I made an effort to use up what I could from my food cupboard/ refrigerator and create recipes using these ingredients. These cost-effective concoctions can still taste great, as well as being good for your health and your purse!
One recipe I often use towards the end of a week, is what I like to call my “soup of the week”. It is rustled up using a medley of any leftover vegetables I have in the fridge or freezer. I fry the chopped vegetables in some butter, pour in boiling water as well as any herbs I feel may go with the soup, add a stock pot, blend….et voila! I have been very fortunate with this dish as I can’t remember a time it hasn’t worked, no matter what the ingredients. This week was no exception.
Soup of the Week (serves 2-4 or maybe more, depending on how much vegetables you have left!)
Soup of the Week
2 celery sticks
2 large leeks
1/2 bag of kale
1 clove of garlic
1 chicken Knorr stock pot (vegetable stock also would work)
coriander and parsley (if fresh add 1 tbsp. of each or if dried add 1tsp. of each)
1 tbsp. butter
chives for decoration
salt and pepper to taste
- Finely chop the onion, garlic and celery into small pieces Chop the leek into small pieces and wash in a colander with the kale.
- Peel and chop the apple into small pieces.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat.
- Once melted add all the vegetables (including the apple and garlic) and stir.
- Place the lid onto the saucepan and sweat down the vegetables for 10/15 minutes.
- Pour some boiling water over the vegetables so it just covers them.
- Add the stock pot and the herbs and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- You can eat the soup as it is or you can blend to make a smooth consistency. You may need to add more boiling water at this point.
- To decorate I snip a couple of chives and add to the top of the soup.
- Blending can sometimes change the taste of the soup and therefore you may choose to leave it just as it is.
- I often add a can of washed and drained chickpeas to the soup for protein.
- As yet, I haven’t found a vegetable or salad ingredient that doesn’t work in this soup, including lettuce and cucumber, which taste great and add a distinctive, fresh flavour. Plus, I always seem to have these leftover!
- Sometimes your soup may not need any stock, especially if it’s packed with veg (or if you use herbs)- so try it first before you add any in.
- I always have fresh herbs in my kitchen for my cooking- I keep them in the freezer and they are just as fresh and delicious when I come to use them.
- Lastly, if you end up making more than is needed, the soup can be frozen to use at a later date.