Yes folks, we’re well into the time of year for coughs, colds and the man flu that tends to inflict about half of the population. Luckily I don’t tend to get bad colds, but last month I spent some time feeling snotty and generally quite sorry for myself.
When you’re feeling poorly, you generally have quite strong cravings for various types of food; whether this is sugary things, carbs, hot and spicy or a non stop supply of salad (I don’t tend to crave salad…ever). We all know how comforting soup can be on coldy days with your arse plonked on the sofa or in bed. I had this such need, and for the first time decided to make my own – the supermarket soups always taste nice but make me feel a bit sick.
I wanted something spicy, full of flavour and with ingredients I knew would be great cold-fighters, so I opted for a butternut squash soup (as they’re in season which is a bonus) with loads of garlic and rosemary. It was warming, herby and so so tasty. I would highly recommend as your fix-it soup! Here’s why…
Garlic: contains a natural antibiotic called allicin which will help fight infection. It actually has 1% of the potency of Penicillin but the body isn’t able to create resistance to it! It’s at its most powerful when eaten raw (2-3 cloves a day) – which will really help to prevent colds, as well as preventing anyone coming near you!
Rosemary: aside from being a rich source of iron, antioxidants and an anti-inflammatory, rosemary is great for fighting off colds and giving the immune system a boost. It stimulates circulation and digestion and relieves flatulence – should you be that way inclined…
Chilli: again, chillies have antibacterial properties (please don’t ask me to go into any more depth), they are warming (obviously) and stimulate the release of endorphins which are natural pain killers and just make you feel nice.
Butternut squash: another ingredient rich in antioxidants and with high levels of beta-carotene (which get converted into Vitamin A). Also, 1 serving gives you half your RDA of Vit C, which we all know is great for colds.
Butternut squash soup with a kick…
To make 2 portions you will need:
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves (I LOVE GARLIC)
- 1 onion
- 350g butternut squash
- 500ml chicken stock
- 1-2 red chilli
- handful of rosemary
- crème fraîche (optional)
1. Cut the Butternut squash into chucks and put into a baking tray. Drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper and throw in some rosemary. Put in the oven on a high heat for about 35 mins.
2. Meanwhile melt a knob of butter in a sauce pan. Chop the onion, garlic and chilli and put them in the pan on a low heat. Put the lid on and allow to cook for 15 mins until really soft – stir occasionally.
3. Once the butternut squash is soft take out of the oven and put the whole lot into the saucepan with the onions – add some of the roasted rosemary too, it will be really dark but it’s still delicious.
4. Now add the stock to the pan and take off the heat and stir in about 2 tbsp on creme fraîche.
5. Using a hand blender, whizz it all up into a smooth liquid.
6. Put back on a low heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes, whilst checking the seasoning.
Once it’s lovely and glossy it’s ready to eat!
Enjoy, feel better and eat more herbs (the culinary ones!) x