Butternut squash is one of the most versatile of the autumn crops, and you’ll always find one or two stashed in my kitchen, ready to be knocked into a hearty, warming soup.
This is the sort of dish I like to whiz up on a crisp November evening. It works well as a delicate starter but is also earthy enough to warrant being served in chunky mugs during a firework display.
I prefer to combine the sweetness of butternut squash with sage, but this could be substituted with parsley if you wish.
Butternut Squash soup
|butternut squash, cut into wedges||4lb|
|first press olive oil||100ml|
|cloves garlic, whole||6|
|springs of thyme||2|
|carrots, finely chopped||2|
|sticks celery, finely sliced||2|
|freshly chopped purple sage||4 tbsp|
|hot vegetable stock||2 litres|
- Preheat oven to 240C/475F/Gas 9.Scoop out the seeds from the butternut squash wedges and brush the flesh with olive oil. Place on a roasting tray, season and place in the oven for 45 minutes until soft and caramalised.
- After 25 minutes, add the garlic and thyme.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a large pan. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Allow the squash to cool for 5 minutes. Then carefully remove the flesh from the skin and add to the stock. Simmer for a further 5 minutes until the squash begins to break up.
- Place the soup in a blender and whiz until smooth.
- Chop the sage and place in a food processor with the Parmesan and whiz until smooth. Slowly add the remaining olive oil.
- Drizzle the sage oil onto the soup immediately before serving.