Sunday, 16 February 2014

The First Post! Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

With the weather being as atrocious at it has been of late I decided last night to make a simple yet classic winter soup that is as comforting as it is filling. Butternut squash is beautifully sweet and therefore can really take some spice which I believe go perfectly together. 
To lift this humble soup I made a straightforward herb oil which adds an extra dimension of flavour and fantastic visual contrast between the bright yellow of the soup and vivid green of the herb oil. 



Spiced Butternut Squash Soup - makes enough for 2 for a main or 4 as a starter

  • 1 medium size onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • pinch of  dried chilli flakes (to personal taste)
  • 2 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
  • 500ml-750ml vegetable stock 
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to season
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Herb oil - to dress the soup (optional)

  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • small bunch of coriander 
  • small bunch of parsley 
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry off the onion, garlic, carrot and celery until softened. Then add the chilli flakes and thyme followed by the butternut squash and continue to cook until the squash starts to pick up some colour. Dependant on the size of the squash you have you'll need to add more or less of the vegetable stock to cover. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer then cover with a lid.
When the squash is soft and yielding remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly then blend with a hand held stick blender until smooth. After this stage I like to pass the soup through a sieve to get a smoother texture but if you don't sieve the soup you get this lovely rustic finish but remember to remove the thyme sprigs. To finish stir in the ground cinnamon. 
If you fancy the herb oil just add all the ingredients to a suitable container and blend with the hand blender until you have a vivid green oil. Which you can use to drizzle over the soup.
Serve with some lovely bread and cheese for a fantastic heart warming dinner.


Thanks for reading my first post! Hopefully the more I blog the better I will get and so too will the photos!

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