Whilst every day really should be Earth Day, it is good there is a day once a year which highlights the absolute amazingness and beauty of this gorgeously unique planet we live on. We need a reminder to pay attention to something that we just take advantage of and abuse every moment. If there was a galactic Social Services, I think our precious Earth would have been taken into care by now!
Even though there are those who still refuse to acknowledge the existence of global warming (like those in the past who refused to believe the Earth was round…..), it’s difficult to escape the effects that we, the human race, have on our eco systems. As Brits, we just love discussing the weather, and there’s been lots of that going on to raise a few questions! Most of us try to make adaptations to help the environment – reduce plastic, recycle, shower instead of bathe etc – but these actions will only have a small impact on a global scale.
Bearing in mind less than 50% of the world’s population eat meat in the first place, the shear number of livestock which need supporting is immense – 17billion! Just check out these other statistics:
* 11 times as much fossil fuel is needed to create meat products compared to plants
* In the US, 70% of the grain grown is for animal feed
* It takes 2400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, whereas is takes 25 gallons to
produce a pound of wheat
* By not eating that pound of meat, you could save as much water as not showering for 6 months!
A plant based whole food diet is not only good for our health, but our environment’s too. Even making small changes will have an impact – if everyone reduced their meat intake by a few pounds a week, look how much water alone could be saved. But don’t replace processed meat with processed meat alternatives, rather care for yourself as well as your environment and eat real food, complete with all the nutrients and gorgeousness that our wonderful planet provides.
So to celebrate, have some gorgeous soup that’s just bursting with flavour and nutrients – a tasty reminder of what our Earth so generously provides.
Squash, ginger and garlic soup
- 500 grams butternut squash or other type of seasonal squash
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cm chunk of ginger peeled
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 600 ml vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley or coriander to garnish optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC
- Peel the squash or pumpkin and cut into large chunks. Place on a large roasting tray and chuck on the squash chunks. Pop in the oven for 25 minutes or so until soft but not crispy brown.
- Once the squash has been in the oven for 10 minutes, roughly chop the onion, ginger and garlic, and pop in a small food processor. Blitz with a little water until you have a thick paste.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of water in the base of a large saucepan. Add the onion, ginger and garlic mix and sauté gently for 10 minutes until soft. Add more water if needed to stop it sticking to the base of the pan.
- By now the squash should be soft and slightly caramelised, so remove from the oven and carefully tip it into the saucepan. Cover with vegetable stock but take care as you may not need all 600mls - the squash will release more fluid whilst simmering, so you don't want it to be too watery.
- Leave to simmer gently for another 10 minutes or so then turn off the heat. Puree with a stick blender, adding more of the vegetable stock if needed to get the thickness you like.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste (it can take a good pinch of salt if you can have added salt) and serve piping hot with a garnish or chopped parsley or coriander and a swirl of flaxseed oil if you desire.
First, roast the squash chunks in the oven for 25 minutes or so until soft but not crispy brown. Roughly chop the onion, ginger and garlic, and pop in a small food processor. Blitz until very finely chopped. Heat the oil and add the onion, ginger and garlic mix, gently frying (add a little water to stop it burning). Cook for 10 minutes or so until soft, then poor in the coconut milk and heat through well. Add the roasted squash, salt and pepper to taste and lower the heat right down. Leave to simmer gently for another 10 minutes or so then turn off the heat. Once cooled a little, puree with a stick blender, adding a little more water if it’s too thick, reheat gently and serve.