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Sensual Food: Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, Coconut, and Chilli Soup

Soup is one of those dishes that everyone loves.
Be it the creamy type, the spicy noodles in broth or the chunk hearty meal in a bowl, you will find a variation in almost every country on the planet.

I am partial to a bit of spice in my soup, and this recipe is probably one of my all time and most used favourites.

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Butternut Squash is jam packed with anti-oxidants and Vitamin B6/C, low in fat, high in Fibre and also contains anti-inflammatory properties that will benefit those with Arthritis in these cold months.

Good old Sweet Potatoes have similar properties to the Butternut Squash, and they are also high in Magnesium, which is known for its anti-stress and relaxation properties.

Combining these two superfoods with the cheeky Chilli, also known for being an anti-inflammatory as well as helping digestion and blood circulation and you have a serious soup that is kickstarting your bodies health in more ways then you can imagine!

Coconut Milk is sweet, rich and exotic, high in Vitamin C, E & B6 as well as Fibre and adds a silky texture to this healthy soup. Coconut Milk, when used in moderation, is a delicious ingredient that tickles the senses into daydreams of the Orient.

Coriander is added towards the end, and this cuts perfectly through the sweetness of the squash, potato and coconut flavours.
One of the freshest and strongest scented herbs on the planet, Coriander is popular in Asian cuisines not just or its spectacular scent and taste, but good for the digestive system, upset stomachs, and the skin.

If you are planning to watch the wallet after the festive season, then one of my top tips is to invest in a flask.
Making your own soup is cheaper than dining out for lunch every day, and it has the benefit of knowing the exact ingredients in your meal as well as being able to control the amount of fats and salt you add.

This soup is suitable for home freezing also, which is a great go-to when you plan a busy day.
Sometimes if I have leftover veggies about, I add them in e.g. wrinkled mushrooms, a scoop of cooked mash potato, tomato ends etc..

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Serves 4

1 small Butternut Squash
2 Sweet Potatoes
2 sticks Celery
1 Carrot
1/2 a Leek
1 Medium Onion
2 Bay leaves
1 can of Coconut Milk
1/2 red Chilli
1 large Garlic clove
1 tbsp fresh Coriander (chopped)
600-800ml Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper

Method:
Peel and chop the squash and sweet potatoes into chunks and toss in olive oil. Bake in a pre-heated oven (at 180’C) for ten minutes.
Wash/peel/chop the onion, carrot, celery, leek, garlic & chilli, and place into a large non-sick pan with a glug of olive oil.
Fry for 10 minutes over a medium heat then add the lightly roasted sweet potato and squash.
Add the bay leaves and the stock, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
When the veg has softened, remove the bay leaves and add the Coconut milk and coriander. Simmer for a further 10 minutes then blitz with a hand blender.
Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy with a dollop of Crème Fraiche if you wish.

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