Saturday, 10 December 2011

Butternut Squash & Potato Soup

I think soup is a very underrated and underappreciated dish, and I can certainly be one of the worst culprits. When looking at the starters in a restaurant I will almost always automatically bypass the soup option for an alternative with a bit of bite. Perhaps subliminally I'm thinking 'chewing = enjoying', but the fact is I can't remember a time when I've opted for a hearty bowl of soup and a crusty chunk of bread and haven't thoroughly delighted in every single slurp. 

Apart from being quick, easy and costing next to nothing, a good soup is filling, and there's no better way to get the full flavour out of some of those vegetables that are lying around feeling a little bit left out. Plus there's always plenty left over to freeze - perfect for those cold winter nights when you're feeling a bit lazy.
Over a medium heat, melt some butter with a splash of olive oil. Fry off a couple cloves of garlic with a tablespoon (or so) of mustard seeds and a good few teaspoons of cumin. (It's worth noting that mustard seeds go berserk and pop when they heat up...I naively didn't realise this, and it's a mistake I won't make Add a carrot and an onion, both finely chopped, sweat down for a few minutes.
Peel two potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks and throw in. Do the same with one medium butternut squash, remember to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Season with a good amount of salt and black pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.
Cover with about a litre of chicken or vegetable stock, throw in a couple of bay leaves, bring to the boil and then let it simmer for about 30 minutes, or until everything in there is nice and soft. Look at those colours. Majestic.
Take off the heat, fish around for the bay leaves, blend until smooth - add a bit of water if it's too thick. At this stage I added about 100ml of double cream and a tablespoon-ish of brown sugar, just to balance the spice of the cumin and mustard...not necessary but works really well - the perfect winter warmer. Also, if you haven't got a hand blender, go out and get yourself one...I'm a total geek when it comes to kitchen gadgets, but I couldn't go on in life without mine.
Pour yourself a bowl, slice some nice bread and enjoy. Can't go wrong.


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  2. I made this soup and it's my favourite soup I've ever made so far! Think I may have to make it again tonight!

    1. Thanks very much, so glad you enjoyed it! Can't beat a good bowl of soup when it's cold outside!