With the change in seasons and cooler weather, it’s time to nourish our bodies with well-cooked foods, and nothing soothes the body and soul on a cold autumn evening quite like a hot bowl of soup.
Autumn is the season of the Lungs, and this easy recipe features a combination of butternut squash, carrot and sweet potatoes. These veggies are great for supporting both the Spleen and Lungs, while more pungent ingredients like onions, garlic and ginger help to boost and disperse Lung Qi. A good pinch of nutmeg and black pepper increases the warming aspect, complemented by a squeeze of lemon to stimulate and help circulate the Qi. Chickpeas add some extra protein and bulk, and toasted walnuts add a note of bitterness and moistening action, as well as a bit more texture to the soup.
500g Butternut squash or pumpkin, roughly chopped
250g Carrots (approx 2 large carrots), diced
250g Sweet potato (approx 1 medium potato), roughly chopped
125g Onion (1 medium onion), cut into small dice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 Tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
750ml stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 tin chickpeas
Good pinch ground nutmeg (approx 1/8 tsp)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp chopped, toasted walnuts
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add the onion and carrot and fry for a few minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, and continue to cook for a couple more minutes till they have lost their rawness.
Add the squash, sweet potato, stock and nutmeg, and bring to the boil. Add in some or all the chickpeas (if you want some more texture to the soup, save half the chickpeas to add in whole later on), add some salt and freshly ground black pepper and turn the heat down to a simmer.
Cook for about 20mins or so until the squash and potato are soft. When the soup has cooled a little, you can either blend it for a smoother soup, or use a potato masher for a chunkier result.
Stir in the lemon juice, any reserved chickpeas and check for seasoning. If you like pepper, now’s a good time for add a little more for extra bite. Before serving, top with the toasted walnuts.