I’ve never been a fan of soup, especially the tinned stuff, I think it’s simply gross. In recent years with the fresh soups in the supermarkets, I’ve definitely become more open to soup at lunch time, especially when I’m trying to shift some pounds or am feeling under the weather. As for making soups, I’ve made a few, mushroom soup is always a winner. When I was at college, there was a small italian cafe in the high street next door, I often went there for coffee and to meet people, it was a great meeting spot. Anyway, once I tried the ‘special’ soup of the day, butternut squash and sweet potato. I couldn’t believe how good it was. Soup had always really been something to eat to fulfill hunger, not to enjoy that much! But I loved it. A couple of years later, I went to see one of my old school teachers for dinner at her house. She made butternut and ginger soup. Again, amazing! So, with the gigantic sweet potatoes I picked up from the farm shop the other week, I decided to have a go at making that soup I’ve never forgotten or ceased to crave, but never had since.
It was better than I remembered it.
I didn’t follow a recipe, I don’t think you need to with soup, cook veg, stock, flavour, blitz, maybe cream or milk…….and so on. So this is kind of a recipe but not strict in quantities, just adjust with what you have and how you like it.
I froze the leftovers and ate it pretty much every day, with some nice, rustic bread for a week. It froze beautifully and I just heated it straight from solid frozen form in a pan or a bowl in the microwave. Now that’s my kind of ready meal.
Ingredients: Serves 8
1 Large Butternut Squash
2 really massive sweet potatoes, or 3 large
1 medium onion
1 stick of celery
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 tsp each, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and chilli powder
salt and pepper
6 cups/1.5 litres vegetable stock or water
In your largest pan, heat some oil and then add the chopped onion, chopped celery and carrot and saute until softened but not coloured, over a gentle medium heat. Add the spices and garlic and saute for 30 seconds then add the peeled and cubed squash and sweet potato.
Add the stock or water and bring to a simmer. Leave for 45 minutes until the vegetables are very soft then transfer to a blender and blend til smooth or use a stick, immersion blender. Add a bit of milk or cream if you wish although I don’t think it necessary. Return to the pan if used a blender and taste. Add salt and pepper, more spices if desired. Serve with good bread and a sprinkling of dried chilli flakes for extra winter warmth.