It feels like Autumn is upon us and this warming soup hits the spot as the days get chilly and nights draw in. Butternut squash is in season right now and the more green-fingered of you may have it growing on your vegetable patch – if you do, I am envious as my patch was a disaster this year!!!
I often cook butternut squash… as an accompaniment to a roast dinner, or a filling in a Moroccan-style wrap, or as the main star in a risotto (my favourite). It’s velvety texture also works really well blended into a soup.
In this recipe, I have roasted the squash which provides a more intense flavour and colour. I love combining it with cumin seeds and chillies for a spicy kick. As with most soups, this is really very simple to make and requires hardly any overseeing.
I am suggesting two serving options for this soup…
A) The ‘undressed’ version, for those of you counting calories… it is particularly good for a fast day at only 142 calories.
B) The ‘souped up’ version (see what I did there!!) with the added treat of goats cheese and pancetta – great for an indulgent lunch or a dinner party starter.
Roasted butternut squash soup
142 calories per serving (undressed, without the topping)
1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into chunks
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp chillies (I use English Provender Very Lazy Red Chillies)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil (or butter)
4 cloves garlic
750ml chicken stock (I use Knorr Chicken Reduced Salt Granules – 2 tsp for 750ml)
Optional topping: Goats cheese, pancetta cubes, toasted seeds
1) Place the butternut squash, onion, cumin, chillies, garlic cloves (with skin on) and coconut oil into a roasting dish and combine well.
2) Cover with foil and roast for 45mins at 200°, taking the dish out to give a good shake to ensure the veg is well coated in the oil after about 5mins.
3) Remove the dish from the oven and squeeze out the garlic from their skins before tipping all the veg into your blender.
4) Make up the hot chicken stock and add to the roasted veg with salt & pepper to taste.
4) Process/blend with your usual tool. The result will be quite a thick soup, so add more liquid as to your preference.
If you are serving with the topping…
5) Dry fry some seeds of your choice (pine nuts work well, but I didn’t have any at the time), take out of the pan and set aside while you fry the pancetta cubes until crispy.
6) Meanwhile, grill the slices of goats cheese on a piece of foil under a hot grill.
7) Carefully place the grilled goats cheese on top of the soup, using a spatula. Sprinkle over the pancetta cubes and toasted seeds and serve – delicious!
Note: my kids loved this but I had to add a swirl (or two) of crème fraîche as it was slightly on the spicy side for them!!!