This filling squash soup, full of vitamin A, is great as a starter, a light lunch or even taken to work as a change from sandwiches!
- 2 red peppers, halved
- 1kg pumpkin or butternut squash
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium leek, washed well and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 1litre vegetable stock
- To garnish
- Shredded coriander
- Pumpkin seeds
Heat the grill and place the pepper halves under the grill to roast – the skin will blister and blacken in about 15 mins. Transfer to a bowl.
Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin or squash, discard the seeds and cut into large pieces then pare off the skin. Cut the flesh into smaller chunks. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and leek and cook over a medium heat for 5-8 mins until softened. Transfer the peppers into a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool so that you can pick them up in your fingers.
Stir the garlic and chilli (if using) into the pan and cook for a further minute.
Add the stock and prepared pumpkin/squash, bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 mins until the pumpkin/squash is tender.
While the soup is cooking, discard the seeds from peppers and peel off the skin and roughly chop.
Blend the soup in batches adding the peppers. They will retain some texture while the pumpkin/squash will become a smooth puree. Season if needed then re-heat to serve.
Scatter the soup with coriander and a few pumpkin seeds.
Top tip: This richly coloured soup is rich in carotenes, converted in the body into vitamin A - great for vegetarians as vitamin A is mainly found in animal sources.