Whatever did we do before the butternut squash? This rich, creamy vegetable is so versatile I can’t remember life before it arrived on the scene and yet it is a relatively recent addition to our shopping lists in this country. Roasted, toasted, puréed or mashed its lovely golden colour and rich taste make it a very valuable veg.
Butternut squash soup is an absolute winner for me as it tastes rich and creamy – yet contains no cream or milk and can be a very healthy meal.
To make the soup:
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 large potato, peeled and diced
- 2 tbl spoon of olive oil
- A knob of butter
- 1 pint of vegetable stock
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- Season to taste
- Peel the butternut squash. Discard the pulp in the centre and chop the remaining flesh into chunks.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, butternut squash and potato and the butter and cook until brown and caramelised.
- As the mixture starts to caramelise, add the garlic, taking care not to let it catch and burn, and the cumin.
- Pour in the stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, leave to cool slightly and then blend using a food processor or one of those really useful hand blenders.
This makes a thick soup that you may want to dilute more with some water. If I’m going to freeze it (and it freezes very well) I leave it like this to save space and dilute it when I defrost it.
Variations on a theme…
I’ve also developed some variations on the above recipe. Adding a leek or two is a nice change, but a current favourite is adding a sweet potato instead of the ordinary potato. This makes for an even more wonderful colour and lovely flavour.
Another option that I am currently mad about is adding 2 tsp of smoked paprika and just one of cumin. This adds a wonderful smoky warmth and quite transforms the soup.
If you serve this as a starter then a swirl of cream or dollop of crème fraîche looks nice, or some artistically ‘dribbled’ pesto is good too!