Recipe: Butternut, Coconut and Hazelnut Soup

Here in the UK, the sun is shining, the skies are blue and it’s the beginning of January. It’s a little disconcerting. The children have gone back to school, the Christmas tree is down (which means my big bay window and all our light is back) and everyone is on a health kick, including me. I’ve just finished reading a compelling a new book, a gift from my sister in the States, called It Starts With Food. The basic premise is to follow a Paleo-style eating plan, filled with grass-fed meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. The Whole 30 program itself is easy to follow. It’s designed to re-set your system so that you are no longer reliant on sugar or processed foods to fuel your body. It sounds straight-forward and sensible enough. However, eating like a caveman and cutting out wheat, sugar, chocolate, dairy, legumes and most carbohydrates for thirty days means that the plan requires a pretty high level of dedication. I’m happy to say I’m on Day 7 and feeling great. More clarity, less cravings, no desire at all to reach for the biscuit tin. I am missing milk in my tea, but I can start to reintroduce certain things at the end of the thirty days. I’ll give you an update and a little more information when I’ve reached Day 30. Below, I’ve posted my first paleo-friendly recipe for butternut, coconut and hazelnut soup and some helpful links I’ve come across so far.

It Starts With Food

I’m easing myself back into blogging, too after a long break, the longest break I’ve had in two years. I started writing a ‘highlights of 2012’ post and gave up. I started writing a handy ‘how to make your blog shine in 2013’ post and ended up writing half an ebook, so I’m going to plug away at that and see what comes of it. I’ve written and submitted a cookery book proposal. I’m testing and developing recipes for two brands. Things are generally looking bright and shiny. Here’s to a happy and healthy new year.

Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup

Some useful sites that I’ve found while on my new paleo-friendly challenge

Whole 9 Life – including

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  1. A bit late with this but I just wanted to say a huge well done for being such an inspiring and well-informed food writer. I love coming here and seeing what you are up to – and hearing how you are doing with the paleo January too. Best wishes for all of your upcoming projects and the ebook. I too am writing an ebook, but for ovarian & bowel cancer patients and those with IBD, Crohns and other digestive disorders, so not really a shot at a bestseller! Yours will be wonderful. Of that, I am sure x

  2. I love butternut squash soup. Coconut and hazel nut is a really good idea. I often add garlic and chilli to my butternut squash soup. Great photography. Please check out the food blog I have just started. Thanks!

  3. Congratulations on your project! Well done on committing to the Whole 30, I’ve been toying with the idea for ages but as I don’t really eat meat Id struggle to know what to eat! I look forward to hearing more about it!

  4. That is one beautiful bowl of soup. Thanks for sharing with NCR this month. All the best for the New Year.

  5. Beatrice Alix says:

    Cooked the soup for lunchtime! That was really good. My husband could not figure out the coconut milk addition, it really goes so well with the butternut squash. Thanks for the recipe and I enjoy so much your blog, there is always a good read! I have already tried so many of your recipes, always a winner!

    1. Lovely to hear from you, Beatrice. So pleased you liked the soup and for your lovely comment. All the best for 2013, here’s to lots more tasty recipes!

    1. Great, thanks for hosting Vardhini

    1. Thank you Vera

    1. Thank you so much, Wendy! Welcome

  6. Can’t wait for the ebook Ren – what a great idea. I’m really not into ‘free-from’ diets – life’s too short but this looks like a lovely recipe.

    1. I would normally say the same, although this is only a 30 day plan, designed to break poor habits, after which you slowly re-introduce things in limited amounts! Am plugging away on the ebook! Thanks for stopping by x

  7. One of my friends did a diet like this and she lost heaps of weight. I think I’d find pulses the hardest thing to give up out of that list.

    This soup looks amazing and husband proof too – I will definitely be giving it a whirl one weekend and put the hazelnuts on after I’ve served Ted’s up. Brilliant news about the writing, I’m sure lots of your projects will come to fruition this year.

    1. They say not to weigh yourself for the whole 30 days as you might be tempted to have a treat! I am definitely shrinking. No sugar cravings and I feel clear headed. I’m going to keep going. The soup is a lovely winter warmer – good the kids too as the coconut milk add a few extra calories. Hope you have a wonderful year too, now that you are a published author!

  8. Hi Ren. Happy New Year! Thanks so much for including my blog in your resources to this post. I think its just fab that you’ve taken the plunge to try out paleo for this month – and really hope (and expect) that you will thrive on it. It’s not for everyone, but I’ve found it to be a food and lifestyle choice that I find easy to follow and certainly does not create any restrictions of creativity in the kitchen! I look forward to seeing more paleo friendly blog posts in future. Good luck with the rest of the month – I’m dreaming about the treat I have allowed myself for getting through January’s Whole30! Ceri

    1. Thanks Ceri no problems, I’m looking forward to your guest post, soon! Day 9, going really well, I must say. I’m not finding it hard at all and the only thing I really miss is milk in my tea!

  9. New eating plan sounds interesting. More a rethink of what we consume than a diet?
    A new resolution for 2013 to practice portion control, reduce the sugar intake (don’t know how the cakes will like that) and reduce wherever possible processed food! Wish me luck. Will be following your new diet with much interest.

    1. Definitely, they go to great lengths in the book not to call it a diet. It is a choice and it kind of re-sets your thinking. It’s working for me, in any case! Sugar is the big bad guy, so yes, any reduction in that is a bonus! Good luck too. x

  10. Happy New Year Ren, I love reading your blog because I again you have gone into a totally new direction. It is so exciting to hear f your new projects and this Paleo style diet is something I have never heard of. That is why I love blogging, discovering something new is always a treat and makes for an interesting and enjoyable read. Good luck with the 30 day plan! xx

    1. Hi Laura, I know, it was new to me too although I remember seeing a SImple and in Season entry by Cucina Ceri and being intruiged. I must say, I am really finding it amazing. Lots of energy and not too hard to follow. I do worry that I’m always going off in different directions, but better to post recipes I really am cooking and eating – and January is all about healthy! All the best for the New Year x

  11. This looks wonderful Ren – I’m loving soups for lunch at the moment, feels so warming and wholesome. Will definitely give this a try. Good luck with all your projects too., sounds as if you’re going to have a really productive year!

    1. Thank you Andrea, yes, we are big soup fans here, so many variations and always a pan of soup on the stove growing up using all the leftovers. I think I will be busy this year – but it’s all good!

  12. Fabulous Ren, particularly for me as I have a bag of Hazlenuts that didn’t get used at Christmas and Coconut Milk Powder which needs using up too. We all love Butternut Squash Soup in this house so I will definitely be giving this a go, plus hubby want’s to eat more healthily now after excesses of Christmas. Thank you for a great entry to Credit Crunch Munch!

    1. Thank you Camilla, as I said to Helen, loving your new blog event. I’m sure it will be well supported. Coconut milk powder would work a treat, it adds a lovely edge to this soup. Sweet and warming without relying on sugar! Hope you enjoy. x

  13. What a lovely reecipe Ren! Many thanks for taking part in the new Credit Crunch Munch and congratulations on all your new projects.

    1. Thank you Helen, Hope 2013 has started well for you too. Love the new blog event, there will be plenty of entries to be shared. Looking forward to seeing you soon. x

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