HOW MUCH CHILLI SHOULD I USE?
TIPS FOR COOKING BUTTERNUT SQUASH
I’ve prepared butternut squash in every thinkable cooking method when making soup with it. But it really depends on how much time you have, but I find roasting it gives the richest results. However, here’s some that you can do:
- Halve, deseed and score before roasting in the oven for 30 minutes (or until the flesh can be easily pricked with a fork).
- Place in the slow cook, left whole for 3-4 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low.
- Chop in to chunks, place in a microwaveable bowl and cover with clingfilm before heating for 10 minutes. (See images below).
MY FAVOURITE COOKING METHOD WITH NO PEELING NEEDED
Although, on this occasion, I microwaved, deep down my favourite cooking method is to place it in the slow cooker, whole. However, it’s definitely not the quickest method is you need dinner on the table within the hour.
One of the main reasons I have a love hate relationship with the butternut is because its very tough skin. It
can be is a pain in the bum, but microwaving is certainly quicker.
However, if you plan this recipe ahead and leave your slow cooker to do all the work, all you need to do is slice in half, remove the seeds and place the whole thing in a deep based pan or soup maker. No, this is not a typo; you don’t even need to peel it as it’s blends a charm and you won’t even notice in the end result.
SOUP MAKER, PAN, MULTICOOKER OR SLOW COOKER?
- Cook in a multicooker for 8 minutes, then blend after finished
- Cook in a slow cooker (after you’ve microwaved the butternut and sauted the veg) on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours and blend
- Cook in a deep based pan (after you’ve microwaved the butternut and sauted the veg) and simmer for about 20 to 22 minutes until everything is tender and blend
- Place the butternut in a food processer after deseeding and place in the slow cooker, pan, multicooker or soup maker, along with the sauted veg and cook as above and blend
SLIMMING WORLD FRIENDLY TOPPINGS
Due to its sweet rich flavour, butternut squash soup tastes great with zest and spices. Here’s a few I’ve tried and loved:
- Zest & juice of a lemon
- Zest & juice of a lime
- Fresh coriander
- Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- Low fat grated cheese *must be synned or used as part of your Healthy Extra A
- Syn Free airfried wholemeal croutons using your Healthy Extra B
MAKE IT MORE FILLING BY ADDING PASTA
Without pasta, this syn free soup is lighter, but still delicious. However, if you’re looking for a thicker soup, then why not try adding 60g of dried orzo? Not only does it add extra bulk to the soup, but it changes the viscosity as you can see on my spoon below. For my soup maker, I cook my soup on the ‘smooth‘ setting. Then once it has finished, I add 60g of dried orzo, then set my machine to cook on ‘chunky‘.
If you are cooking with in any other method, just add the orzo once your soup has cooked, and simmer while stiring until it is tender. This usually takes abut 10 minutes; roughly the same length as regular pasta.
WHAT IS ORZO?
Orzo is a syn free dried pasta that comes in a similar shape and size to grains of rice. It’s also great for a cheat’s risotto too.
CAN I FREEZE MY LEFTOVERS?
Yes, I’ve frozen many of my soups, including this one. I store mine in individual Sistema soup mugs, so I can easily divide my portions and pop them straight in to microwave like a ready meal.
It’s a good idea to label your soups as I’ve often forgot what I’ve frozen and keep it for up to 1 month. As for the fridge, I store mine for around 5 days at the most, then heat it through before serving.
At the time of publication, the syn information were accurate using their Food search and syns calculator. However, if in doubt, always ask your consultant, or call the Slimming World Syns Hotline: 09068 518 518. Syn information can sometimes change to ensure they protect your weight loss.
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SLIMMING WORLD SYN FREE BUTTERNUT SQUASH, CHILLI & GINGER SOUP
This delicious Slimming World Syn Free butternut squash soup can be made in the soup maker, pan, multicooker or slow cooker.
- 1 kg butternut squash (unprepared weight) (see notes above for alternative prep methods)
- 1 fat clove of garlic peeled & inced
- Sprinkle nutmeg or freshly grated
- 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes for mild or 1/2 to 1 red sliced fresh chilli if you like heat
- 25 g fresh ginger peeled & grated
- 1 large onion peeled & diced
- 2 chicken, veg or vegan stock cubes
- Fresh coriander garnish
- 60 g dried orzo **OPTIONAL**
- Zest & Juice of a lime or lemon
First, peel, halve, deseed then dice your butternut squash before placing in a microwavable bowl. **See less strenuous cooking methods above if you have time to make this ahead of dinner**
Cover the diced butternut squash with clingfilm, then microwave for 10 minutes to speed up the cooking time.
Meanwhile, spray your deep base pan (or frying pan if using a soup maker) with Frylight and saute the onions, ginger and garlic until softened.
Now add the remaining herbs and spices (except fresh coriander, lime and orzo if using) to the pan and continue frying for 5 minutes.
Once the butternut squash is cooked, transfer to the soup maker or deep base pan along with everything else (again, except the fresh coriander, lime and orzo if using).
Set your soup maker to smooth, or is using a pan, just bring to the boil and blend.
Now everything is tender, you can add the orzo and cook the soup maker to chunky, or leave to simmer in the pan for about 10 minutes (or as per instructed on the back of the packet).
Stir in the zest, juice and garnish with fat free natural yogurt, fresh coriander or even watercress and enjoy.