During the last week or so I have been really struggling to get out of bed in the morning. A few weeks ago it was light when I woke. I then started noticing lovely sunrises when I was walking the dog and now when I go out it is dark. It is really difficult to get going when it is dark, all I want to do is to pull the sheets back over me and go back to sleep. The days are noticeably colder, it is time to pull out boots and socks as well as jumpers and cardigans.
The trouble with the change in weather is that it seems to bring an onslaught of coughs, colds and flu. It could be because there is less ultraviolet light which viruses do not like or because we spend more time indoors breathing in stale air. It could be just the cold. Whatever causes it being ill is not pleasant and it is best avoided where possible. When you are ill or cold there is nothing nicer than a big bowl of soup.
Last week my BBC Good Food magazine arrived. If you recall I am now a magazine.co.uk blogger and this was my first magazine in the subscription. Inside I found an article about supercharged soups. These were soups which had vegetables and other ingredients with immune boosting properties, in order to help fight off colds. The selection looked nice, beef goulash soup, carrot and ginger soup, red lentil and coconut soup and bone broth. I decided to create my own soup with immune boosting properties and created a butternut squash and ginger soup.
Butternut squash is a great source of antioxidants, like beta carotene which can help prevent certain types of cancer. It is also a great source of vitamin A and C. I added some carrots which are also rich in antioxidants and vitamin A. I used a couple of cloves of garlic which has active oils that work like an antibiotic and fight against infections whilst ginger is good for protecting and healing the gut and easing stomach upsets and nausea. As well as having all these great immune boosting properties the soup is also really tasty.
The butternut squash and ginger soup is also really easy to make, like most soups. The only hard part is chopping up the butternut squash and fighting with the seeds which have a tendency to go everywhere. Peel and chop the butternut squash, carrot, an onion and 2 cloves of garlic and add to a pan with some stock. Add a teaspoon of ginger root and simmer until soft. The resulting mixture can then be placed in a food processor and processed until it is smooth. I served with a sprinkle of black pepper and crusty bread, hot from the oven is always a nice touch.
The soup is perfect for lunch on a cold Autumn afternoon or served before dinner as a starter on a dark Autumn evening when the wind is blowing outside. It warms you from the inside and hopefully will help to prevent ill heath as well.
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1½ pints 0.8 litres chicken or vegetable stock
- Peel and chop the butternut squash and remove the seeds.
- Peel and chop the onions, garlic and carrots.
- Add a little oil into a pan and add the garlic and onion.
- Fry gently until soft
- Add the carrots and butternut squash and the stock
- Add the ginger
- Simmer until the carrots and squash are soft.
- Place in a food processor and process until smooth
If you are looking for other soup ideas why not try this warming potato soup with bacon and cheese added to make it the perfect comfort dish.
Another immune boosting soup is this carrot and fennel soup, the fennel adds a warming depth of flavour to the dish.
If you are out all day and want to come home to a lovely bowl of warming soup this slow cooked ham and split pea soup is perfect.