Winter in the UK so far has been pretty mild, nothing like the picturesque scene of snowy days in Amsterdam: children happily skating on frozen canals, huge icicles hanging from the mooring ropes of the canal barges and the hearty soups we’d eat when coming indoors. I’ve roasted butternut squash to give this subtle soup a wonderful taste and its bright yellow colour brings a little sunshine back into the day.
Ingredients serve 4
1 kg butternut squash, peeled
1 (300g) tin of organic butter beans
1Tbsp olive oil
150 g finely diced onion
40 g butter
1 Heaped tbsp fresh chopped coriander
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
1 pinch of saffron (optional)
2 Rashers of smoked bacon (optional)
4 cloves black garlic (finely diced)
- If you’re using saffron, put the strands in a teacup and barely cover with boiling water and leave to soak. Or better still if you have pestle and mortar crush the saffron threads to release their flavour and then cover with a little boiling water.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove and keep the seeds. Dice the squash into chunky pieces and place in a roasting tray.
- Rub the olive oil into the squash, season with salt & pepper then roast in a medium hot 190C oven (gas mark 5) until lightly brown and very tender.
- Wash the fibre from the saved seeds and drain on paper towel.
- Season the seeds lightly and roast in the oven until lightly browned and crispy then allow them to cool.
- Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook the onions on a medium heat until they are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add the stock to the cooked onions, the (saffron & water) and allow to simmer on a low heat.
- Drain the butter beans and then pour them into the stock. Add the roasted squash to the stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- In the meantime cook off the smoked bacon and then cut the rashers into very thin strips and reserve.
- Puree the soup well in a food processor and then push it through a sturdy strainer to make the texture velvety smooth.
- Check the seasoning, then return to a low heat and add the coriander.
Ladle in the hot soup into warm bowls, then sprinkle on the roasted seeds, some of the bacon, black garlic and finish with a dollop of Crème Fraiche.
The roasted butternut squash seeds taste very similar to sunflower or pumpkin seeds, adding a great crunchy topping to the soup. The smoked bacon and the black garlic add subtle counterpoints the butternut squash.
*Big shout out thanks to Nick Green from Villeroy & Boch for the wonderful bone china given to this blog to help me display my food. This very interesting shape which can be used for a soup or a salad or even dessert comes from the Urban Nature collection.
Don’t forget to visit my other blogs
Easy & Cheap Student Recipes-A great resource if you are a student or just learning how to cook.
Old Blog Posts– A growing archive of posts from my original food blog, which had 20,922,573 page views from its beginning in February 2006 until December 2015.
© Kevin Ashton 2006-2016