Food Gatherer's Note: Squash goes really well with warm spices such as cumin, cardamon and the super healthy wonder spice, turmeric which are all great additions when roasting, but here the latter 2 are combined in this delicious and comforting soup.

  Fragrant Squash Soup

What could be better on a cold autumnal day than a steaming hot bowl of fragrant, sweet and aromatic soup.  As it cooks you will start to smell the heady scent of the turmeric and cardamon which is wonderful. I discovered this recipe from Anna Jones a fabulous vegetarian cook and love the combination of spices and squash. 

1 leek chopped
1 small piece of ginger
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 green chilli chopped
6 cardamon pods
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon ground turmeric or a thumb sized piece of the root
Half butternut squash or 500g other squash / pumpkin
3 sweet potatoes chopped
2 star anise
1 1/2 litres vegetable stock
3 handfuls of spinach

 (To serve, add some torn coriander, if you can get hold of them, nigella seeds look very pretty sprinkled on the top and lime wedges)

To Prepare:

Heat a little oil and saute the chopped leek, ginger, garlic and chilli for 10 mins or until soft.

Crush the cardamons and discard the pods and extract the black seeds and grind. Then add them and the turmeric to the leeks and stir. 

Add the peeled, diced squash, sweet potatoes and star anise then cover with the stock. 

Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until the squash has softened. 

Season with salt and pepper then blitz with a hand blender. Stir in the spinach and allow to wilt. 

Spoon into bowls and top with the chopped coriander, nigella seeds and some lime wedges. 

Serve and enjoy!