The internet at the moment is covered with images and recipes of autumnal produce, squashes and pumpkins taking center stage. I love it that even in a day and age when supermarkets stock lots of fruit and vegetables year round, people still feel drawn to the seasonal vegetables available at this time of year and make them into cakes, stews, soups, risottos, curries, pies – anything hearty and comforting!
I love a good soup, it warms the bones and is good for you too. No shop bought soup in a tin or a carton can even come close to home made soup in terms of taste, home made soup is just the best! Served with a wedge of bread and butter it makes a delicious, easy and often cheap meal that can last in the fridge for a few days. And if pureed often freezes well too depending on the dairy content.
Below is my take on a warming butternut squash soup with ginger and chilli. I like to serve mine with a dollop of creme fraiche and a good grind of pepper or a drizzle of coconut milk, a pinch of dried chilli flakes and some coriander leaves. But I have seen butternut soups served with toasted pumpkin or squash seeds on top, as well as crispy croutons or grated cheese.
I like quite a rustic texture but if you want a really smooth soup you can always strain it through a sieve after blending, and then swirl in a little extra cream or coconut milk before serving.
The little bowls used in the above photographs are Le Creuset Petite Round Casserole Dishes in Cerise, Volcanic and Dijon. I adore them because they are so sweet and colourful, and hard wearing too!
If you liked this you may also like: Vegetable Soup
- 1 Medium Butternut Squash
- 1 Large Red Onion
- 1 Mild Red Chilli (Or a level teaspoon of dried chilli flakes)
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 cm slice of fresh Ginger
- 1 Pint of Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 15g Unsalted Butter
- Preheat the oven to 190'C.
- Using a sharp knife cut the butternut squash horizontally in half from stalk to base. Scoop out the seeds and cut each half into two.
- Place the squash on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and cook in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes or until soft.
- Dice the onion, add to a large saucepan along with the butter and gently fry over a low heat. After 10 minutes, finely chop the garlic and fresh ginger and add these to the onions, along with a finely sliced chilli (or the dried chilli flakes if using).
- Remove the squash from the oven when cooked and leave to cool.
- Once cool enough to handle - or by using oven gloves, gently cut away any skin from the squash and dice into chunks.
- Add the squash to the saucepan, along with a pint of stock and turn the heat to medium until it starts to bubble, leave to simmer for 5 minutes then turn the heat to low for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and using a hand blender puree the ingredients until smooth (you may need to do this bit by bit rather then all together in the pan, depending on the strength of your blender!) You may need to reheat the soup a little after blending.
- Ladle into bowls and serve either with creme fraiche or a drizzle of coconut milk and some fresh or dried chilli.