Spice up your lunch break

As we head into the cooler months, there is nothing better than a bowl of warming soup to nourish us. And what’s not to love about this recipe? It’s simple, delicious, and comforting, with plenty of health benefits too – I hope you enjoy it!


Butternut squash soup with spiced seeds


Serves 4

For the soup:

  • 2 tsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 5cm piece fresh root ginger, grated
  • 1 butternut squash (about 1kg) peeled, deseeded and cut into 3cm chunks
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • Natural yoghurt, to serve

For the spiced seeds:

  • 4 tbsp mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, linseeds)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • pinch of chilli flakes

Tip: These seeds also make a great snack. Enjoy as an alternative to crisps on the side of your sandwich!


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  2. Add the onion to the plan, and cook for 5–7 mins until soft and golden.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 mins.
  4. Add the butternut squash cubes, cover and cook for 5 mins to soften the squash.
  5. Add the coriander, cumin, and chilli powder. Season with salt and pepper, mix.
  6. Pour in the stock and simmer for 15 mins, or until the squash is cooked.
  7. Blend the soup using a stick blender or liquidiser until silky smooth.
  8. Lower the heat and keep warm in the pan.
  9. Meanwhile, place your seeds in a dry frying pan.
  10. Fry for 1–2 mins until they start to pop and toast. Keep the seeds moving in the pan to prevent them from burning.
  11. Add the oil and spices and mix them together.
  12. Serve the soup in bowls, add a spoon of yoghurt and swirl it into the soup, then sprinkle over the toasted seeds.

Tip: Keep your ginger in the freezer and finely grate as needed. There’s no need to peel the ginger, just place the grated flesh into the dish and put the remaining ginger back in the freezer ready for next time!

The healthy bit

Coughs and colds are more common at this time of year, and although it is a nutritional myth that we can ‘boost’ our immunity with the food that we eat, we can support the healthy functioning of the immune system by eating enough of certain nutrients.  

The beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A, and vitamin C found in the squash, along with the vitamin E in the seeds, are all important nutrients to the immune system, and so eating these on a regular basis may help you to reduce your risk of infection.

And did you know that vitamin C can help increase the absorption of iron? By combining a vitamin C-rich food like butternut squash in a recipe with an iron-containing food such as the seeds, you can increase the amount of iron the body absorbs. While iron plays a role in the healthy functioning of the immune system, it’s also important for our energy levels!

Butternut squash is a really nutritious food and is also a good source of magnesium.

Magnesium plays a role in the absorption of calcium, so this along with the calcium in the yoghurt will contribute to maintaining and improving bone health.

This meal is heart-healthy. It’s low in fat but still provides important healthy fats that we need to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Finally, if you want a little something extra, this soup would be delicious served with wholemeal scones, soda bread or cornbread – all of which would give you added wholegrain to your day! This meal already contains nearly ¼ of your daily fibre needs but by aiming for 30g of fibre a day, you can decrease the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and it will keep you fuller for longer, meaning you have the energy to get through to your next meal!

This article was originally published in Happiful Magazine (Issue 67). You can order print copies online, or read the e-magazine for free on the Happiful app

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our recipe hub.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Sheffield, S17
Written by Kate Wall, Registered Nutritionist (AfN)
Sheffield, S17

I'm a registered Nutritionist and coach specialising in weight management.

I’m passionate about debunking the myths and confusion around nutrition to help you fall back in love with the joy of eating.

Show comments

Find a nutritionist dealing with Healthy eating

All nutrition professionals are verified

All nutrition professionals are verified