Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Butternut Squash Soup with chilli and herbs


I love cooking with butternut squash (as long as I don't have to peel it). The intense colour when you cut it in half always comes as a surprise and magic occurs with the heat of the oven, transforming the hard, unyielding flesh into soft, sticky sweetness. Even its name sounds delicious.

This soup is perfect for November - the vibrant orange adds colour to a grey day, the squash makes the soup satisfyingly filling but still silkily smooth, the herbs give freshness and the chilli really warms you up from the inside.

As squash is still very much in season, I'm sending this over to Ren at Fabulicious Food for her wonderfully inspiring Simple and In Season challenge.



I'm also sending this over to Javelin Warrior's weekly challenge, Made with Love Mondays which encourages us all to cook from scratch.

JWsMadeWLuvMondays

The herbs used in this dish mean that it can be sent to another of my favourite challenges, Herbs on Saturday, created by Karen from the consistently wonderful Lavender and Lovage and hosted this month by Jen at Blue Kitchen Bakes .

Herbs on Saturday

RECIPE - serves 4

1 butternut squash
1 onion
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
40g butter
dried chilli flakes, (a pinch or two, depending on how hot you want it)
2 sage leaves, finely chopped
900ml vegetable (or chicken stock)
a handful of fresh coriander

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C

Cut the unpeeled butternut squash in half, from top to bottom and deseed it. Make a few cuts in the flesh with a knife and drizzle with some olive oil. Place on a roasting tray and roast for about 40 mins until soft.

In the meantime, finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan and soften the onion and garlic slowly over a gentle heat. It's important to do this slowly as you really don't want the onion and garlic to burn or even colour. After about 20 mins the onion should be soft and translucent.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh (discarding the skin) and add it to the softened onions and garlic, together with the sage, chilli and stock. Bring it to the boil and cook for a few minutes before removing from the heat.

With a stick blender, blitz until smooth and check the seasoning. It will probably need both salt and pepper, depending on the stock you have used and personal taste.

Put the soup back on the hob to heat up thoroughly. Serve with generous quantities of fresh coriander and a drizzle of crème fraîche.




17 comments:

  1. This sounds so good and I'm such a big fan of butternut squash! I've never had it as the star ingredient of a soup before, but I'm sure it would be delicious. I'm so glad you decided to share - the perfect soup for all the chilly days ahead!

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    1. Butternut squash is so versatile! I love this particular version of the soup because the squash is roasted first of all which really adds a wonderful depth of flavour.

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  2. this is one of my favourite soups and like you I like adding chilli it complements it and is perfect for cold winter weather.

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    1. The chilli really adds another dimension doesn't it?

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  3. I love butternut squash soup and a bit of chilli is definitely a good idea now it's getting colder.

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    1. I love the heat of the chilli in this soup, it really makes it special.

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  4. This is the second butternut squash soup recipe I've seen today. I love this soup :) I had my first try at making it form scratch last year and a clear film covered my palm while peeling and slicing the squash. That thing took days to come off! Nice soup Katharine : )

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    1. Thanks Vanessa! One of the good things about this soup is the fact that you only need to cut the squash in half which is relatively easy, no horrid peeling or anything else involved!

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  5. This is interesting, I read somewhere else recently about not enjoying the peeling of butternut squash. I love it and think this is maybe because I use a very large sharp chef's knife. It is all about the tools for me! Your soup is perfect and adding chilli flakes gets bonus points from me as I am a chilli fanatic!

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    1. I think I'll be shopping tomorrow for a better knife!
      I completely agree with you about the chilli - I think the soup would be a bit dull without it!

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  6. November is my 'soup month'! I love butternut squash and sage combination and I will give it a go soon!! (my dinner today was tradizionale pasta e fagioli but I did not have a prosciutto bone....

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    1. Love the idea of 'soup' month Rita! It's ribollita for me next - my absolute favourite and so perfect for cold weather!

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  7. Sorry, my first comment seemed to be full of typos. Sorry! Lovely soup and a perfect entry into herbs on Saturday, with amazing ingredients and herbs of course! Karen

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    1. Thanks Karen - I think the herbs really make it!

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  8. There are worse things to peel than butternut and the squashes we grow (although sadly not this year) come into that category - really tough peel. Your soup looks delicious and the addition of sage is inspired.

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    1. Thank you - yes, the sage worked really well with the butternut.

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  9. A lovely recipe, perfect for this time of the year. Your post is now featured in the November Simple and in Season round up. Thank you so much for entering x

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