Squash soup to celebrate Earth Day

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. 

However, changing to a plant based way of eating is the single more important change we can make that can have a direct impact on the environment. Whilst this may seem like a huge claim, you just have to look at the environmental impact of meat production to see where vast amounts of natural resources go.

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:

   * 30% of the world’s land mass is used for raising animals for food
   * 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.

Roasted butternut squash, ginger and coconut soup

500g butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks (or any small squash or pumpkin, preferably local if possible)
few drops olive oil1 onion
good thumb sized bit of ginger
2 cloves garlic
400g tin of coconut milk
salt and pepper
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. 

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