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Butternut soup

Although you can cook it in a microwave, a butternut is at its best when oven-baked for about two hours at 160°C: it will be colourful, soft, easy to peel and de-seed, and wonderfully flavoursome. And you can use it to make a lovely velvety butternut soup.

We tend to bake a large butternut, or two small ones if we could not find a large one, which means we’ll have left-over butternut for the freezer.

This recipe makes 6 portions.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Freshly grated root ginger (optional)
  • 3 cups (750 ml) butternut (baked or cooked)
  • 1/3 cup (90 ml) applesauce, or 1 peeled, de-seeded and chopped Granny Smith apple
  • 3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk, cream, buttermilk or coconut milk
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2 to 5 ml) mild curry powder
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • To season: salt, black pepper, paprika and a pinch of sugar
  • Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons cornflour to thicken

To serve:

  • 1 tablespoon cream per person
  • Chopped parsley or coriander

Method

  1. Sauté onion in butter or oil until soft.
  2. Add garlic, ginger and curry powder. If you’re using diced apple, add it now.
  3. Sauté for 3 minutes.
  4. Add butternut, orange zest and stock and let simmer until heated through while stirring from time to time.
  5. If you’re using apple sauce instead of fresh apple, add it now.
  6. Add milk, orange juice and nutmeg, and bring back to simmer while stirring from time to time.
  7. Combine cornflour with a little water to form a paste and stir into the soup to thicken. Simmer for a few minutes while stirring.
  8. Season to taste.
  9. Use a food processor or stick blender to puree the soup.
  10. Garnish each bowl of soup with a tablespoon of cream and a sprinkling of parsley or coriander, and serve piping hot.