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Grey Ghost Squash Soup

This is a must have recipe for Halloween and yes, that is its real name!


 

Squashes are part of a large family of edible gourds that grow on vines.  They are slow growing with months passing from the time they blossom to when they are ready for harvesting in autumn.  There are many different varieties to choose from.  I used a beautiful “Grey Ghost Squash” in this recipe.  It has an unusual bluish grey skin and bright orange flesh with a rich sweet flavour and velvety texture.

It’s full of wonderful nutrients and ideal for a warming lunch on a chilly day.

450g peeled Grey Ghost squash or other type of squash – chopped into small cubes

2 onions – peeled and roughly chopped

1 clove garlic – peeled and chopped

1 red chilli – chopped - with seeds if you want a slightly spicier soup

1 x 400g can tomatoes

1 litre vegetable stock

Black pepper to taste

Optional garnish of freshly chopped herbs.

Warm the sunflower oil in a large pan and add the squash and onion and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the chilli and onion and stir well.  Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil.

Lower to heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the squash is cooked.

Liquidise until smooth and season with black pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with a few freshly chopped herbs

Squash contain the antioxidant, vitamin A.  This essential nutrient supports the body’s defence system and helps fight infection.  Beta carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A.  When cooked squash is easily digested and is an anti-inflammatory food.

Garlic has detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties.  Its most potent role in the diet is form the sulphur it contains which helps in the formation of new cells, promoting health and well-being.

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene – a potent and protective antioxidant, and other important vitamins and minerals including E, K, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and iron.

Onions have excellent anti-viral properties. They have good antioxidant properties and contain many other micro nutrients.

Black pepper supports good digestion, has antioxidant properties and is antibacterial.