Last time I was pregnant, I was sent for a GTT (glucose tolerance test) at 28wks to see if I was at risk of GD (gestational diabetes). This is a pretty common issue for PCOSers who fall pregnant and after a couple of hours waiting to find out the results, I discovered that I was borderline and would need to change my diet for the remainder of the pregnancy if I wanted to avoid full blown GD later on. Thankfully, I was already pretty aware of my ongoing issues with insulin resistance and to be honest, it wasn’t as much of a horror as it could have been.
I was sent away with a blood sugar monitor and tested myself daily, once upon waking and once again two-hours after my evening meal. My morning results were always well within the limits of GD but it was those pesky post-prandial (post-meal) blood sugars which meant that most refined carbs had to leave my diet. It was a case of trial and error, coming up with meal plans that were low GI isn’t the hardest thing in the world to do… and thankfully I don’t have (too much of) a sweet tooth.
I’m now 23 weeks pregnant and I asked my consultant if I could have one again before 28-weeks this time. She thought it was a good idea and I’m back to my post-prandial testing. In the five-years since having Leila, guidelines have changed and I now have to test only one-hour after eating. The results so far are borderline, but well within limits once I replace those refined carbs for more wholesome sources. I think we’ve been here before!
Today’s recipe is one that saw me through many a carb-restricted lunchtime five years ago, and one that I’m relying upon again today after that bittersweet reunion with my blood sugar monitor.
As far as veggies go, you can’t get more of a taste/glycaemic load (good) compromise than sweet potatoes and butternut squash… of course, my soup could be made from those wonderful green, leafy vegetables (that would be even more virtuous) but there’s something about orange veg in the winter months that warms my belly like no other. Cabbage-based soup next time, I promise!
You’ll need (to make a BIG, freezable batch):
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
3 vegetable stock cubes (or fresh vegetable stock)
1 small tub of soured cream
1/2 tsp coriander
1 level tsp ground cumin
1 level tsp hot chilli powder (adjust to personal taste)
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp oil for frying
Optional – red lentils
Fry off the onions and cumin on a medium heat until softened.
Add the chopped sweet potato and butternut squash before sprinkling over the remaining spices and stock cubes (fresh stock).
Add around 2L of feshly-boiled water, less for a more intense flavour and more if you want to eke out the soup for freezing portions. I added a little more with the intent to thicken up the soup with some red lentils if it needed it. Let the vegetables blip away in the simmering water (with a lid on) until soft, around 30/45 minutes should do it.
Once softened, take your stick-blender and blitz away until the soup is smooth. At this point, it’s up to you to judge whether or not your soup needs thickening, it’s mostly down to personal taste.
After tasting mine, I decided that the flavour was intense enough to take a little more water, so I added a handful of red lentils and topped up with another 700ml of boiling water. Let this cook away until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes before giving the soup another whizz with the stick-blender.
Just before serving, take the soup off the heat and stir in the soured cream.
I serve mine with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. What? There’s no carbs in cheese right?
Freeze the rest in individual portions and you can reheat them as and when needed in the microwave.
What’s your favourite home-made soup recipe?