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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wholesome Creamy Butternut Pumpkin Soup

After a season of heavy and ultra-rich holiday dishes, followed by a busy exam period, all I’m craving is something easy, quick, delicious and healthy. Also, having in mind, that it is still rather frosty outside, I would really go for something to warm and cheer me up. This next recipe, as far as I know, originates from Australia, and was given to me by a lovely Dutch lady, who lived there for quite some time (hi Berdien!). When I tried it for the first time, I was amazed how this butternut soup could taste so amazingly creamy and heart-warming, and yet be so incredibly healthy and even good for the line (especially if you use light cream cheese). Furthermore, its amazing and vibrant orange colour can’t help but make you happy and brighten up your day. I made this right around my exams and enjoyed it for lunch, which was perfect as it takes a little over 30 minutes to prepare. However, if you don’t want to eat the same thing over and over again, it freezes perfectly, as well. I just can’t recommend it enough, and let’s face it, it is made of pumpkins, I’m totally partial!

Creamy butternut pumpkin soup

Creamy butternut pumpkin soup recipe
(Serves 8)

800g/1.8 lb cleaned and peeled butternut squash
1 large carrot, washed and peeled
1 red bell pepper (it could be a different colour but definitely not green!), washed and quartered
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup cream cheese (I like using a light one with herbs)
Salt and pepper to taste
Roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Drizzle pumpkin seed oil (optional)

1. Bring 1l/34 oz lightly salted water to the boil (better use a 2-2.5 l/68-85 oz  pot). It is important that the veggies are put in the already boiling water, so that the colours are preserved.

2. Put the butternut squash, carrot, bell pepper, onion and garlic in the boiling water. The veggies don’t need to be cut finely at all, as they will be blended with a stick blender later. Boil for 30 minutes.

3. Blend the soup with a stick blender (or whatever blender you have/ pass it through a sieve). Add the cream cheese and blend again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. You can definitely stop at step 3. The soup is beautiful just by itself. It tastes creamy and rich even though it is quite healthy. However, if you would like a different variation, you could add any spices to completely change the feel of it. Add some thyme and oregano and/or crisped up Prosciutto and you have yourself an Italian inspired creation. I have also tried it with a Chinese 5-spice and it turns into a completely different dish. My favourite must be the Austrian style of serving it, with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and roasted pumpkin seeds. You can be as creative as you’d like, this dish allows it. Bon appetit!

How does this recipe sound to you? Yummie?