Butternut Squash and Chilli Soup

Butternut Squash and Chilli Soup

Butternut Squash and Chilli Soup

One of the biggest challenges when trying to improve your diet and eat healthily can often be finding healthy lunches to take to work.  If you are not well-prepared in advance, popping into the local store on the way to work is likely to lead to a less-than-nutritious lunch.  

The key to making sure you have a nutritious and filling lunch every day is to prepare your lunches in batch at the weekend, either freezing them or keeping them in the fridge for the rest of the week.

This butternut squash and chilli soup is a perfect example of a meal that can be easily prepared in bulk on a Sunday and then portioned out for both lunches and dinners for the rest of the week.  

It is delicious and smooth, with a little kick from the fresh chillies (you can always add more if you like more heat!) It is a lovely comforting meal in autumn or winter, but can also be enjoyed as a refreshing lunch in warmer weather (not that we need to worry too much about that here in Scotland!)

We’ve chosen to make a vegan version of this soup, but there are many variations and toppings you can add. We’ve included some suggestions at the bottom of this post for you to try out.

At Thyme To Feel Alive we always try to pack as much nutrition into our meals as possible. This butternut squash and chilli soup is a big favourite of ours as it’s as nutritious as it is delicious!
 
The bright orange colour of the soup gives a big clue that it is full of beta carotene.  Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body and 1 serving of butternut squash provides more than 100% of the RDI for vitamin A.  
 
Beta carotene is also crucial for good skin health and protecting cognitive function, making butternut squash a great addition to your weekly meals.
 
The chillies in the soup also provide vital nutrients, being packed with antioxidants such as capsanthin, lutein and capsaicin.  Red chillies contain much higher levels of antioxidants that green chilli peppers.   
 
Chillies are also known for boosting metabolism, reducing appetite and improving the body’s potential to burn fat, so they are a great ingredient for those wishing to lose weight.
 

This butternut squash and chilli soup can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or can be frozen and will keep for up to three months. Of course, it is more likely that it will all be eaten within 24 hours as it is so delicious!

Moroccon Butternut Squash Soup

Variations: we have chosen to keep our soup simple, and vegan, but you can make different varieties of this soup easily by switching up the spices and garnish.

Moroccan: to add a Moroccan flavour to the dish, replace the mixed herbs with 1 tsp each of ground cumin, ground cinnamon, ground coriander and cayenne pepper.  Garnish with pomegranate seeds or fresh coriander.

Feta: make the soup as above and simply crumble feta cheese over the top before serving, for a tangy alternative topping

Creamy: for a more indulgent version, after blending the soup, add a few tablespoons of heavy cream while reheating, then a drizzle of cream on top to serve. This will reduce the heat from the chillies, so feel free to add a few more fresh chillies or chilli flakes if you still want a bit of a kick!

Please let us know any other variations you make in the comments!

 

Billy and Elaine

Butternut Squash and Chilli Soup
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Butternut Squash and Chilli Soup

A deliciously creamy soup with health benefits from both the butternut squash and fresh chillies
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: Vegan
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely sliced
  • 2 red chillies finely sliced (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1 litre vegetable stock

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes
  • Add the garlic, chilli and mixed herbs and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • Once the onion mixture has cooked, add the squash and stir to coat the squash with the mixture
  • Add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  • Once the squash is tender, remove from the heat and allow to cool
  • Blitz the soup with a stick blender, or transfer to a jug blender and whizz until smooth.
  • To serve, reheat the soup on the hob for a few minutes, then serve with fresh chillies and pumpkin seeds as garnish

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