Butternut Squash and Cinnamon Soup
Wow it’s cold and the weather forecast predicts it’s going to get colder! It’s this time of year that my thoughts turn to warming bowls of soup. Soups on a cold, drizzly day seem to warm and comfort us from the inside. I mostly make vegetarian soups as my dad is vegetarian and he is the most ardent consumer of my home made soups. In fact this is his favourite soup and I make it for him most weeks during autumn and winter.
I love home made soups, they’re so ridiculously easy to make and taste superior to even the very best commercially produced soups. Even if you are roasting the vegetables prior to making soup with them it still takes less than an hour. During that hour you’re probably only actually standing at the worktop or cooker for about 15 minutes! And of course you can freeze what you don’t use.
Home made soups are also incredibly cheap to make. One of the things I love about autumn and winter is the abundance of root vegetables which I use to give soups a real depth.
You will see that this soup recipe uses cinnamon. Although you could leave the cinnamon out if you don’t like it or have an allergy to it, I really do urge you to try the recipe with cinnamon. It just gives the dish extra warmth and depth.
Recipe for Butternut Squash and Cinnamon Soup
Serves about 4 people
- 2 tablespoons of oil, I use rape seed oil
- I butternut squash, approx. 1.5kg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 5 litres Chicken or vegetable stock
- 300g onions, sliced
- Small bunch of fresh thyme
- Bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to season
- Parsley or coriander and sour cream to garnish (optional)
- Heat oven to 180 C. Chop butternut squash, leaving the skin on, remove seeds.
- Place chopped butternut squash on a baking tray, cover with the oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in
the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the pieces are lightly roasted. If you are adding cinnamon add it to the squash before it goes into the oven.
- When butternut squash is a light brown colour remove from oven and place in a medium saucepan with the onions.
- Add the stock, bay leaf and thyme and bring to the boil, then cover with a lid, turn heat down and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove the thyme and bay leaf.
- When onions are tender pour all of the soup into a sturdy jug. Pour 1/3 of the soup into the blender. Blend, then slowly add the rest of the soup. Be careful to add the soup slowly as you don’t want the hot soup to explode out of the blender into your face.
- If you are using a stick blender you can leave the soup in the pan to blend it, but you will need the jug later when you sieve it.
- When fully blended pass the soup through a sieve into the pan. This step removes the skin and gives you a velvety, smooth soup.
- Place the soup back onto a low simmer for a short time to intensify flavours further. When it reaches the desired consistency serve. Season to your own taste. Garnish with sour cream and parsley or coriander.