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Recipe of the month: sweet potato and butternut squash soup

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Potassium, vitamins A and C, a couple of your 5-a-day, plus whole wheat bread and cheddar cheese: a hearty soup that can really stand-alone for dinner

  • Serves 6-8
  • Vegetarian
  • Counts as 2-3 of your 5-a-day, depending on serving size
  • Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are nutrient dense, providing a lot of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, carotenoids and fibre. 
  • Preparation: 20-25 mins
  • Cooking: 20 mins


  • 1 kg sweet potatoes
  • 450g butternut squash
  • 4-6 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 L of semi-skimmed milk
  • 90 g shredded reduced fat cheddar
  • 25g butter, unsalted
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, to taste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, to taste (optional)


  1. Fill a casserole pot with just enough water to cover the sweet potatoes and butternut squash and place it on a medium-high heat.   
  2. Turn the oven on to 180 C.
  3. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes and squash.  Be sure to remove the seeds from the squash.
  4. Tip:  Butternut squash is more difficult to prepare than sweet potatoes because they are a gourd and not a root vegetable.  If you are short on time, buy the already diced version from your grocery store.
  5. Cut the potatoes and squash into segments that are about a half an inch thick. Place the vegetables into the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes or until tender enough to cut easily with a fork.
  6. While boiling, you can toast the bread in the toaster and grate the cheese into a bowl.
  7. To make the au gratin topping, crumble four pieces of toasted bread into the cheese in a bowl.  Add to help bread and cheese adhere. Then stir in 80 mL of milk and place into the oven to allow cheese to melt.
  8. Drain the water from sweet potatoes and squash and add the milk, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and mix until blended.  Crumble up the remaining two pieces of bread into the mixture and continue mixing. 
  9. While the au gratin topping is in the oven, heat the soup on medium-high to blend the flavours.
  10. Remove the au gratin topping from the oven once the cheese has melted and sprinkle evenly over each soup bowl.   

Nursing Times says…

“If you want to use skimmed milk instead of semi-skimmed to cut down on saturated fat and cholesterol, crumble an additional two more pieces of toast into the soup.  This should help keep the thickness.“


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