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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup – an Easy 5:2 Diet Recipe:
I’m back in the kitchen and cooking again, after what seems like an eternity of travel and meals out. Needless to say I am back on a 5:2 diet fast day so cooking up a new 5:2 diet recipe – although bizarrely I actually managed to lose half a kilo on my trips to France and Portugal. Something of an achievement on a Gastronomy trip – it’s definitely not through lack of food or wine. It might just have something to do with the large quantities of fish we ate in Portugal. Or perhaps it was all that walking around medieval villages and on limestone plateaus in France. Regardless I’m still trying to follow the 5:2 diet and I want to lose another 2 or 3 kilos before November when I am booked in on a BOOTCAMP in Spain. So it’s back to making tasty comforting diet soup recipes for me. Ones that are both healthy and nutritious but hopefully reasonably low in calories.
Squash and pumpkin are in season at the moment. I live alone and for that reason tend to avoid pumpkin – I find even the smallest are just that bit too big for a one-person household. Butternut squash comes in a convenient 1kg size (that’s one smallish squash) and what’s more you can keep them in the fridge or any other cool place for a month or so. They don’t discolour when they are cut, so, you can use as much or as little as you need for a soup and then do something else with the remainder. They are very nutritious, with a 100g serving providing more than twice your daily vitamin A requirement as well as a good dose of vitamin C. But, they are a little off-putting to prepare for the first time.
Last year I went to an event run by Kenwood where they were demonstrating how to make a squash soup a little like this, but since I have long since lost the literature, I’ve improvised my own version. I’ve also been very careful about the quantities of oil and coconut milk because I wanted a low calorie 5:2 diet recipe. And, because I am too mean to buy those nice little pre-prepared portions of squash and too lazy to peel an uncooked squash, I’ve been experimenting with pre-roasting. Not without reading around a bit first, I’ve discovered that Nigella’s recipe doesn’t need any peeling at all, while others expect you to peel before you roast. I must admit in the past I’ve always peeled, but this time I tried following the advice given here and ended up with a pretty good soup, albeit one that needed a little more blending than normal.
- 500 ml Vegetable stock
- 200 ml Reduced Fat Coconut milk
- 1 handful Fresh Coriander Cilantro (Stems removed and reserved.)
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 500 g Butternut Squash Deseeded and cut into chunks. Peeled if you like
- 100 g Shallots Peeled and quartered
- 10 g Fresh ginger Peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic Chopped
- Pre-heat your oven to 200c. Place the squash, garlic and shallots in a roasting tin and sprinkle over the oil. Mix well. Roast for 45 minutes, reducing the heat if the shallot shows signs of caramelising
- Once the squash is soft, put the content of the roasting tin into a large saucepan and add the coriander stems and ginger. Blitz well, if necessary adding a little water to the mixture
- Add all the stock to the mixture and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and taste. Season with salt and pepper as necessary.
- Serve with the fresh coriander leaves as a garnish.
I’m rather pleased with this 5:2 diet recipe. It’s very filling and really does have an ‘Autumnal feeling’ to it. The recipe does have a slightly higher calorie count than some of the soups I’ve been making while I’ve been trying to diet. That’s partly because of the butternut squash (45 cals per 100g) and partly because of the half fat coconut milk. If you REALLY wanted to keep this dish low calorie, you could substitute a spoonful of 0% Greek Yoghurt or Quark at the end for the coconut milk. But for the sake of the flavour combination of coriander, coconut and ginger, I think it’s really worth those extra 20 calories. Do remember to look for half fat coconut milk though;).
As suggested I’m adding this recipe to the Simply. Food ‘Lets Cook with’ event – because this month the ingredient is COCONUT. There are lots of wonderful entries there already so if you love coconut, why not pop over and take a look!