Squash and sweetcorn chowder

Sweetcorn and squash chowder, sneakyveg photo

Soup, until extremely recently, has never been a popular lunch choice with the two small people here. However, this seems to have changed for no particular reason (as so many things seem to with small children) with tomato soup featuring almost weekly on our lunch menu. As long as it's served with cheese on toast it seems to go down well every time. So I decided that it was time to expand our soup repertoire and with a squash and some sweetcorn in the fridge I had the perfect opportunity.

I decided to make a chowder, a milk based soup, to offer the children something a bit different from a usual soup made with stock or water. I'm really glad I did as it went down well, in particular with four-year-old R, who is doing extremely well with trying new foods at the moment, helped along with a reward chart and some Avengers stickers. I blended the ingredients together, but you could keep half to one side and put them back in once you've blended it if you prefer.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
280g squash, peeled and diced
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
180g sweetcorn
3/4 pint/400ml milk
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, squash and mixed herbs and cook gently for 10-15 minutes until soft, taking care that the onion doesn't get too brown.

Add the sweetcorn, milk, and some salt and pepper to taste. I tend to go easy on the salt, or leave it out all together, and then let the grown ups add their own at the table. Heat until almost boiling, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for around 10 minutes until the sweetcorn is soft. Transfer to a blender (keeping some aside if desired - see above) and blend thoroughly until smooth. Return to the saucepan and reheat.

Serve with bread, cheese on toast, or for a more authentic chowder, with crackers.