Here at Rustic Retreats, we pride ourselves on nourishing our guests with fresh, organic, local and seasonal vegetarian food from the Bagend kitchen. Every meal is a riot of colour, texture and tantalising flavours - we grow as much of the food as we can here, too! On a retreat, I can often be seen tearing around the kitchen, ingredients flying around with flourish and flair. It might seem like chaos, but that’s where the magic happens!
Over the years, I’ve built up hundreds of recipes (I’ve yet to write the book…) in notebooks, on scraps of paper and in my head. Most of them are top secret, with a few special ones that I’ll take to the grave. But because you’re all so gorgeous, I’ve decided that each season I’ll share one of my quick and easy vegetarian recipes on the blog…
Though we are well into March, and the signs of Spring are upon us, we are still grateful for the roaring open fire in Bagend’s Great Hall on the cold nights. So I don’t think it’s too late for a classic Winter Warmer:
Spiced Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Serves 6 to 8
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp raw cane sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp l soy sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups diced onion
1.5 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and diced
2 tsp grated lime zest
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
toasted pecans for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and place the butternut squash on a baking sheet. Cook for around 10 minutes. This will make it much easier to cut open, peel and dice the squash.
2. In a bowl, combine the dry spices and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar and soy sauce. Set aside.
3. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and stir. Cover and cook until the onions soften and begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Add the butternut squash, stir, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butternut squash is softened and lightly browned.
4. Add the spice mixture to the pot and stir well to coat the squash and onions. Add the vinegar and soy sauce mix and stir. Add the diced apple and 4 cups of water, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the soup to cool for about 10 minutes.
5. Puree the soup, either in batches in a blender, or in the soup pot with a wand blender. Stir in the lime zest and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.