Roast Butternut Squash Soup with Crunchy Chickpeas

This dish is a real winter-warmer. There’s nothing better to warm the soul then a big comforting bowl of soup and this squash recipe is my fave.

You will need:

1 butternut squash

2 onions

1 clove of garlic

1 red chili

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp ground coriander

1 vegetable stock cube

For the soup:

First begin by washing and drying the whole squash.

Half it, remove the seeds and roast in the oven until browned and slightly blackened around the edges. You can score/diamond the flesh of the squash to speed up the process and ensure even cooking.

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While the squash is roasting, fry the chopped onion and garlic in a large pot over medium heat. Once starting to brown a little add 1/2 of the red chili; excluding the seeds if you don’t like it too hot.

Add the ground coriander and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave aside if you squash is still not ready, otherwise roughly dice the roasted squash and add to the mixture.

Dissolve 1 vegetable stock cube in 800mls of boiling water and add to the pot. Mix well and blend with a hand-blender or else you will need to transfer the mixture to a food processor (be careful if doing so and just add a little water at a time or things can get messy!)

Bring the soup to the boil then reduce to a simmer before serving.

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For the Crunchy Chickpeas:

Drain and empty the contents of one can of chickpeas onto a baking tray.

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil then sprinkle with paprika and/or cayenne pepper if you want them extra spicy.

Toss well and pop in the oven to bake at 180.C. Make sure the chickpeas are well spread out on the tray so they will cook faster.

After 5 minutes toss the chickpeas to ensure even cooking as the edges tend to cook first. Then once browned and crunchy to taste, remove from the oven (approx. 10-15 minutes depending on your oven).

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Sometimes I play around with what toppings I add to my soup, for example below I added some sautéed leeks and pomegranate pearls & if you are a meat eater, fried bacon bits on this soup is really tasty.

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