Thursday, 12 January 2012

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Cream & Roasted Seeds

I had a squash in the fridge leftover from roasting another earlier in the week and I decided I fancied a nice warming soup for the weekend.

I like making soup, it's generally pretty easy and something that once you’ve done the chopping you can just leave to simmer until blitzing with a stick blender (or not of course if you prefer a bit of chunk). This is one in my repertoire that I’ve not done for a while either so it deserved a bit of an outing.

The other good thing with soup is that you can make a huge batch of it to take to work for lunch during the week, so it’s economical too. Which in January, that seemingly endless month, is definitely a good thing.

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
2 sprigs of rosemary
3 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium red chilli, chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed (reserve the seeds)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 litre of veg or chicken stock (I actually used half and half)
2 tbsp double cream plus a little extra for drizzling

Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan and add the garlic, chilli, paprika, bay, rosemary and cumin seeds. Gently fry for a minute.

Add all the vegetables and sauté for a few minutes, constantly turning until everything is mixed well and the veg is coated in the spices.

Add the stock and turn down the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 45 mins.

Allow the soup to cool a little. While waiting, clean the seeds of any squash pulp & fibre.

Put the seeds on a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt. Shake around so all covered and then put in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until a light toasted colour.

Discard the bay leaves and rosemary then blend the soup with a stick blender until smooth. Pour in the cream and blend again.

Reheat if necessary then serve, drizzled with a little extra cream and scattered with roasted squash seeds.

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