Halloween is almost here. Tomorrow in fact and my children are already at fever pitch at the prospect of dressing up, staying up late and collecting and consuming enough treats to keep a small nation on a sugar high for weeks.
Trying to approach this celebration in a meaningful eco-minded way has been a challenge. My children are making their own costumes with my help and the contents of our dressing-up box and my cosmetics bag. Another issue for me as a Mother is trying to get something wholesome into them on the big day itself to counteract (a little) the amount of junk they will consume and to keep them warm as they trudge out into the Winter’s night Trick or Treating.
This year I have adapted my kids favourite sauce that I created for them few years ago into a delicious heart warming soup that is full of great tasting things like butternut squash, smoked paprika and the life enhancing coconut milk. I call it ‘My Smokey Bonfire Soup’. Obviously this is pumpkin season so it can happily be substituted for butternut squash.
My Smokey Bonfire Soup
1 medium butternut squash ( pumpkin can be easily substituted) cut into small chunks
1 red onion diced
1 stick of Celery finely sliced
1/2 yellow pepper diced
1/2 medium sweet potato cut into small chunks
200g of tinned peeled plum tomatoes
1/5 teaspoon of smoked paprika.
200g of full fat coconut milk
A good glug of olive oil, black pepper & salt to taste and 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
1 litre of homemade or good quality vegetable stock such as Marigold’s Swiss Bouillon.
Fry the onion, celery & garlic gently in a heavy bottomed pot with the olive oil ensuring nothing browns. Add the butternut squash and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring regularly. Now add the pepper and sweet potato, again stirring regularly to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once the vegetables begin to soften add the tomatoes and herbs.
Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes on a low to medium heat. Now add the stock and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Once the vegetables have completely softened add the coconut milk and the smoked paprika. Be careful not to exceed the amount of smoked paprika as it has quite a powerful flavour.
Now heat thoroughly before blending and season to taste.
Enjoy. A meal in itself.