Before I started working at Whole Foods Market I had no idea how many different types of squashes there are. Most of us know the classic orange pumpkin, and if you live in the UK, Ireland or US there is often Butternut squash available in most supermarkets. Last weekend I went to the Temple Bar farmers' market and found this beautiful pale green little pumpkin squash.
Comparing with the picture below, it's clearly a Blue Hubbard Squash (no 8). I love the color of the skin and on the inside there is a sweet-tasting orange flesh.
First I had the idea of roasting the squash in coconut oil and toss it with some rocket salad, walnuts and a citrusy dressing. The stormy Dublin weather made me change my mind and the squash instead turned into the most warming soup, I call it "Sunshine soup", and it's so simple to make.
I simply roasted the squash in two halves in the oven, and then mixed the soup creamy in my blender. Served with smashed avocado on sourdough bread, this really is a super filling lunch or dinner. It's also completely vegan and so nutritious!
You get your healthy fats from:
For some added protein:
While using deliciously nutritious spices such as:
Sunshine soup with toasted sesame and avocado sandwiches
For a soup serving 4 people (large servings) you will need:
1/2 cup (120 g) red split lentils
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 knob fresh ginger
1 tsp chilli
freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 black pepper
1 half juiced lemon
Preheat your oven to 180°C/360°F. Cut the squash in two halves and remove the seeds. Pour some oil over the two halves and rub the oil into the pumpkin flesh with your hand.
Place the two halves on a tray with baking paper, cut sides facing down. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until soft (might vary depending on the size of your squash).
In the meantime, rinse the red lentils and bring water to boil in a pan. Add lentils and let simmer for 6-7 minutes. Drain the lentils off water, cover with the lid and leave off to the side.
Take the squash out of the oven, pierce it with a fork to make sure it's softened. Let it cool. Open a can of coconut milk, grate the ginger and nutmeg and juice the lemon.
Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin and place it in a blender. Add the lentils, coconut milk, ginger, nutmeg, chili, salt, pepper and lemon. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes.
* Toasting sesame seeds
Add a dry pan over high heat and add the sesame seeds. Toast for about 2 minutes until fragrant and the oil is released from the seeds. Shake the seeds in the pan once in a while so that they don't burn.
** Preparing avocado sandwiches
Slice thick slices of a good bread such as sourdough. Cut open a ripe avocado and use a knife to cut out squares in both halves. For example, slice from top to bottom and then make squares by cutting from side to side. Then take a fork and smash the avocado flesh before spreading onto the bread. Slice up a tomato, discarding the seeds. Use chilli, salt, pepper and olive oil for seasoning.
Preparing for baking!