Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash served with pizza bread.

Brrr.  Autumn weather has arrived.  I live in hope that we might have a bit more summer weather, but this week is cool and cloudy.  Perfect for a nice, warming soup and this one is so easy and tasty.  We had a butternut squash hanging around for ages until Hubby used a bit of it for Sunday lunch.  Two thirds of the squash was left, so I cut it into chunks and drizzled a little olive oil over it, then roasted it in the oven for about 45 minutes. You can do this when you are already using the oven, then cool the squash and put it in the fridge.  It will keep for 3 days. Although most cookery writers tell you to peel and boil squash and pumpkin, I never do. It is too much trouble and does not give it enough flavour. Roasted squash has a sweeter and more robust flavour and it is easy to scoop the flesh from the skin.
I used chilli in my soup, but you could add a little cayenne pepper instead. The chilli gives it a bit of heat which we love, but if you don't like chilli, leave it out.
While the bread was heating up, I toasted some pumpkin seeds in the oven.  You could also toast them in a frying pan if you were not using the oven. They make a nice contrast to the smooth soup.

1 butternut squash, cut into chunks and roasted at 180 C for 45 minutes.
2 medium onions. chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large red chilli, chopped and deseeded (optional)
Salt and pepper
water to cover
Chicken or vegetable stock cube

In a large pan, heat the oil and add onions and carrots.  Cover and leave on low heat until they are softened and the onions are transparent (about ten minutes).
Add the chilli and cook for another two minutes.
Scoop the flesh out of the squash and add it to the pan.
Use just enough water to cover the vegetables, then add a stock cube, salt and pepper.
Bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Using a liquidiser or hand blender, blend the soup until there are no lumps.
Serve with a drizzle of cream and some toasted pumpkin seeds (optional).