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