Monday, 25 July 2011

Recipe corner -Creamy butternutsquash and red pepper soup

Just for you, Starfish!!

Anyone who has ever followed the Weight Watchers plan with any degree of seriousness will have been indoctrinated into the Cult of the Butternut Squash. Or BNS as it is commonly referred to on the messageboards.

For those of you not au fait with the intricacies of pro points – butternut squash is what is called a free food, zero points, eat with impunity. Because of its sweetness and velvety texture when pureed, it features in many a soup recipe. Indeed, it features in a soup recipe that I’ve already posted on here. As well as a risotto recipe and a baked gnocchi recipe. What can I say…I’m clearly a member of the cult!

I’m surprised, however, that I’ve never blogged this recipe because I’ve been making it for years and it never fails to satisfy. I like the way the sweetness of the squash interacts with the pepper – it somehow becomes less sickly than when the squash flies solo. A judicious amount of reduced fat soft cheese makes for a luxurious, velvety texture which tastes far more indulgent than it has any right to. And, as per usual with soup recipes, there isn’t an awful lot to it at all.


Small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
Red pepper, chopped
Onion, chopped
Litre of chicken or veg stock
100g soft reduced fat cheese
Salt and pepper to season

Serves 4, 1 pro point per serving*

*In my earlier meal planning post, I said that this was 2 pro points…but I forgot that I don’t add milk or a swirl of yoghurt as per the original recipe. So it’s an even more bargainous 1 – I would recommend some good crusty bread to go on the side.

Firstly I would recommend that you roast your squash which really enhances the flavour (although you can skip this step if you’re in a hurry). Toss the pieces in a little salt and pepper and roast in a hot oven for around 30 minutes until soft.

About five minutes before your squash is ready, gently soften the onion and pepper in a pan. You could use Fry Light here, or even a little splash of water to prevent the vegetables from catching. A good pinch of salt at this stage will help those vegetables get their sweat on.

Now add your roasted squash to the pan and cover the lot with stock. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Reduce the heat and stir through the soft cheese. Then, once cooled slightly, remove everything to the blender and give it a good whizz up. Check the seasoning and adjust before serving. If the soup is a little thick for your taste, you could let it down with a little milk, but you may need to adjust the points upwards in that case.