Pleasures of Autumn

October 11, 2012

There’s a trug of garden goodies in the hallway. I wish I’d been able to grown them myself, but they are a gift from my father. My own veg. patch was a bit of a flop this year with only some garlic and herbs to show for all the weeding and planting that went on. Still, both the apple and cobnut trees I put in the ground seem to be settling in, so fingers crossed for next year.

I promised to post a recipe for butternut squash soup since each time I’ve demo’d it this season, it’s won fans. Here you are:

Butternut squash soup with apples, topped by sage & walnut tapenade
Butternut squash is naturally sweet and nutty, and you can tell from its vibrant colour that the soup is good for you. It is high in vitamins A, B & C.  Also minerals like iron, zinc, folate, calcium, and potassium so it is good for bones, macular health, the nervous and immune systems

The tapenade is not essential but adds a lovely extra dimension. If you have fresh cobnuts, chop up a handful of these as a delicious alternative garnish instead.

(Serves 2)

1 butternut squash, peeled & diced
1 apple, chopped
1/4 red onion
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
Black pepper taste
Pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon
Pinch of thyme
1 cup warm water + extra, as required

for the tapenade:
1/3 c walnuts
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
Pinch of salt
4 tomatoes. diced
3 tbsp olive oil


  • If steaming or blanching the squash, cook/steep for 5 mins and drain. Set aside
  • Make the tapenade by putting the walnuts, parsley, sage and salt into a food-processor and blend until broken down short of smooth i.e. still a little coarse
  • Transfer this to a mixing bowl, and add tomatoes and olive oil. Gently combine
  • Put the diced squash into a blender, add other soup ingredients and process until smooth.  Adjust the liquid to get the consistency you like
  • Pour soup into bowls. Top with tapenade, and serve

For a variation, omit the apple and thyme. Add some curry powder, plus a knob of ginger.  No tapenade required.
If you’re new to raw food, it may help to lightly steam or blanche the squash beforehand to reduce the starchy mouthfeel.
This recipe also works with sweet potato – another highly nutritious and alkalising veg. (when raw).

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