We’re thrilled to introduce Emma to you (welcome, Emma!). She’s a Brighton-based blogger with a passion for photography and food and here Emma is with her very first post – just in time for World Vegetarian Day – where she shares a delicious recipe and wonderful imagery for her spiced squash soup. Over to Emma…

World Vegetarian Day Recipe: Spiced Squash Soup

It’s World Vegetarian Day which calls for a vegetarian recipe on the BThoughtful blog. This one’s inspired by a recipe I found in my most recently purchased cook book, Persiana. Now, not all of the recipes in the book are vegetarian, so a little imagination has to go into those as to how they can be adapted to not contain animal products, but, I came across a delicious looking and sounding vegetable soup recipe which has inspired the one I’m sharing with you.

This Spiced Squash Soup is made of very simple and seasonal ingredients which are: butternut squash, onion, garlic and chickpeas with an array of spices (most of which I can imagine will already be in your cupboard). The soup is then drizzled with a fresh herb oil, which adds a new element for the tastebuds, then browned onions & chickpeas are sprinkled over the top which add a nice bite to the soup. Then you can finish the dish with a nice crumbling of feta cheese to add a salty tang.

This is a hearty, wholesome soup that’s packed with flavour and a little kick. It can be made vegan friendly just by not adding the feta cheese. Another plus to this recipe is it gets better the longer you leave it, so great for your lunch the next day. You can also tupperware it up and freeze it for another time.

World Vegetarian Day Recipe: Spiced Squash Soup

Spiced Squash Soup for World Vegetarian Day

Serves 4

You will need:

750g butternut squash, peeled and roughly cut into 4cm chunks
3 small red onions roughly chopped plus 1 small red onion thinly slice
3 garlic cloves crushed
5 vine ripened tomatoes roughly chopped
4 heaped tsp cumin
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
2 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1tsp chilli flakes
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Juice of half a lemon
Olive oil
2 x 400g cans of chickpeas
100g feta cheese
For the herb oil
A handful of parsley, roughly chopped including the stalks
A handful of dill, roughly chopped including the stalks
A handful of pistachio nuts roughly chopped
Juice of half a lemon
6 tbsp olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper

World Vegetarian Day Recipe: Spiced Squash Soup

Method:

1. Boil a full kettle of water. Pour enough olive oil into a large saucepan to coat the base and heat on a high heat. Add the squash, onion and garlic. Cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes or just before they start to brown. Add the tomatoes, spices and a good grind of salt & pepper. Give it a stir then pour over enough boiling water to cover the vegetables. Cover with the lid and leave on a slow boil for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan with olive oil then add the sliced onions and cook for 5 minutes on a high heat stirring frequently, then add half a tin of drained chickpeas and cook for a further 5 minutes on a medium heat or until the chickpeas have slightly browned. Set aside.

3. To make the herb oil, place all of the ingredients into a bowl and blitz with a hand blender until you get the consistency of pesto then set aside.

4. Once the squash is soft all the way through, turn the heat off and whizz in the food processor until smooth. Pour the blended soup into a saucepan. At this point you can choose the consistency of your soup. If you’d like it a little thinner add the water of the chickpeas; if you like the consistency then drain the chickpeas before adding to the soup. Add the lemon juice and simmer for a further 20 minutes.

World Vegetarian Day Recipe: Spiced Squash Soup

5. Once the soup has heated all the way through, ladle it out into shallow bowls, sprinkle the fried
onions and chickpeas, spoon a few dots of herb oil over the top and crumble some feta cheese. I
served mine with a slice of rustic sourdough. Enjoy!

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Looking for more inspiration for World Vegetarian Day? You may also like to try the 5 Veggie Recipes our team adores.