Monday, 7 March 2011

flu buster soup - spicy roasted red pepper, butternut squash and spring green soup

With most of the family unwell this week I decided to make something which was packed in as many immune boosting vitamins as possible. My task was made easier because everyone in my house loves soup, so what better way to give them all that they need to get better!



3 tablespoons palm oil (or olive oil)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced in half
2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, finely sliced
1 tomato, washed and chopped
1 red pepper (bell pepper), washed and chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced, and washed
3 cups of spring greens, chopped and washed
500 mls chicken stock (or vegetable stock will also do)
1 green chilli (you can add more if you can take it slightly hotter)
A handful of fresh mint leaves, washed and chopped
A handful of fresh corriander leaves, washed and chopped
The juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground corriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Roasted red peppers

Turn on the grill to high heat. In a non-stick pan pour a little oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon crushed corriander and a little black pepper. Then add the red peppers and mix together. Put this under the grill for ten minutes, making sure you turn them over half way. Once they are slightly dark around the edges they are ready. Take from under the grill and leave to cool.


Saute the onions until golden, then add the garlic and ginger. Then add the tomatoes and all of the spices and fry until the mixture comes together. Then add the butternut squash and saute for five minutes. Then add the roasted red peppers and saute for a further five minutes. Then add the chicken stock and bring the boil. Once it has boiled turn down the heat, cover and leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until the squash quite literally begins to squash and the water thickens. Then add the fresh corriander, mint, green chilli, spring greens and lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes - make sure you do not cook the spring greens for longer than five minutes otherwise they will start to develop a rank smell and flavour.

Take the pan off the heat and put into a blender (you can also use a food processor, it works just as well but a little more bitsy) and blend. Pour back into the pan and cover for 5 minutes.

Serve with warm, toasted bread.

* One red pepper contains more vitamin C than an orange, and also has a substantial amount of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant and is converted into vitamin A once absorbed by the body. Vitamin A helps to fight of viral infections, and is also great for the eyes.
* Butternut squash is another great source for vitamin A and C and is also good as an antioxidant.
* Spring greens have a substantial amount of vitamin C and are a good source of folic acid.

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