It's always a challenge when the winter months emerge to find a comforting meal that is new and exciting. A meal in which warms the soul without going back to the classics that keep us in our comfort zone, such as casseroles, stews and hearty roasts. Now whilst those foods are the norm, and delicious, it's time to explore new dishes that we may not ever think to try.
The supermarkets during the months of August to December are normally full of seasonal fruits and vegetables in which you can only find at that time of the year. They stay on the shelves for such a short time as the weather doesn't allow some of these wonderful foods to grow. The foods I am talking about in particular are certain types of winter squash e.g: pumpkins, kabocha squash, sweet dumpling squash, hokkaido squash and many more.
As you may of seen from the numerous aesthetically pleasing instagram pictures from your friends and family at the local pumpkin patch, picking their favourite squash to carve a face into, they are surrounded by various types of squash from grey and white ones, squashes with boils and bumps and many more. These vegetables are normally hollowed out and thrown away. I imagine the waste from all over the world is astonishing.
For me my favourite squash is the hokkaido squash as pictured below.
This squash for me has to be my favourite. The taste especially when used in a soup is so vibrant and flavourful, and gives an amazing burnt orange colour that really catches the eye.
I use this squash to create a very heart warming soup throughout the autumn and winter months until it cannot be purchased anymore, in which I urge you to try this recipe whilst you still can before the shelves empty, leaving you to wait another half a year until restocked.
Whilst this soup can only really be created during the later months of the year with a hokkaido, if you do start to miss and crave this delicious dish, then the next best vegetable to recreate this soup with would be a butternut squash. The butternut squash is one of the closest in the squash family in similarity, with a close flavour profile and consistency, and can be purchased all year round
1 medium hokkaido squash, peeled and cubed
3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 apple, peeled and cubes
1 onion, finely cut
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp of vegetable stock
900ml of water
A sprinkle of ground cinnamon
A dash of salt and pepper
A spoonful of plant-based coconut yoghurt
Although this soup on its own has a taste like no other, I can not urge you enough to add more flavour by adding a sprinkle of cinnamon, maybe a bit of salt and pepper or some plant-based coconut yogurt to the top of the soup. These additions will really bring this soup to life, boosting the flavour, giving the most wonderful very wintery feel.
I will be adding the nutritional information at the end of this post followed by an in-depth analysis of all nutrients in this recipe.
Step by step guide:
Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes
Add olive oil to the pot on a medium heat
Add apple, garlic and onion, let them sauté until they start to brown
Add water to the pot along with the potatoes and squash
Leave to cook until the potatoes and squash are soft
Add vegetable stock
Stir well and leave to cook for a further 3 minutes
Use a hand mixer or blender to blend until you have a soup consistency
If you don't like a thick soup, feel free to add some more water
Serve and enjoy
Add cinnamon, salt and pepper or a plant-based coconut yoghurt to the top to really bring out the flavour. The result is incredible.
If you are a soup dipper like me, serve with some warm crusty bread to dunk into this flavourful soup. I would recommend wholemeal bread.
Please be aware I will not be adding the bread into the nutritional information below.
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.53g
B1 (Thiamine) 0.08mg
B2 (Riboflavin) 0.01mg
B3 (Niacin) 1.1mg
B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 0.4mg
B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.23mg
B12 (Cobalamin) 0ug
Vitamin A 13.4IU
Vitamin C 10.5mg
Vitamin D 0IU
Vitamin E 0.7mg
Vitamin K 3.26ug