Every winter, I rediscover my passion for soups. Whether they put my blender to work: tomato, super food green puree soups or involves making delicious broths from scratch, I always really enjoy them.
At the same time, I have been trying to use some more local ingredients to create my soups, to start to expand my taste bud vocabulary. Although I still have a long way to go, little by little we are making headway :) This soup was made using butternut squash, but is equally delicious using pumpkin.
Butternut squash has never really been available around the places I have lived, and as a result never really in my radar. But, am I happy that I have discovered it! it’s inner colour is magnificent, absolutely brilliantly vibrant. It is sweet and tender, and a great companion to a multitude of foods! As previous discussed, I tend to over-experiment with new ingredients, to get acquainted with them. As a result, I have trying to understand its properties, and it turns out that this squash is a total keeper!!
- Butternut squash risotto
- Stuffed butternut squash with wild rice and dried cranberries
- Baked butternut squash chunks, mixed with sweet potatoes and carrots
However, there always was one drawback to preparing anything with it, the arduous task of peeling it! It would always take me 30 minutes at least to chop it all and remove the peel… However, last night at a party, my problem was resolved! I was sharing my love for this fruit (yes, it is a fruit, seeds on the inside!!) and the inevitable chore of preparing it, when my friend said to me: “There couldn’t be an easier solution for your problem”:
- Cut the butternut squash in large pieces (thick slices)
- Boil it for 3-4 minutes
- Remove from boiling water and the skin slides off!
Now, hassle free, you can also enjoy this fruit! The inspiration for this soup came from Cannelle et Vanille’s: Leek, Butternut Squash and Potato Soup, that she published a while ago and helped to point me in the right direction for proportions of my ingredients to get the right texture. However, I really love adding a little sweetness and extra nutritional benefits to my soups – enter sweet potato! Not only do the two really reinforce the other’s amazing orange colours, but they really compliment each other’s sweet and hearty flavours! This soup is great either using the below cumin, rosemary and garlic kick, or with a Matina-style “winter spice” mix: cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.
Butternut squash & Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 8 generously
- 2 Butternut Squashes
- 3 Sweet Potatoes (peeled)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Onions (red or white)
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 Sprig Rosemary (leaves only)
- 1/8th tsp Cayenne (or just a small pinch)
- Salt and pepper
- Fill a large pot half way with water, bring to the boil.
- Cut butternut squash into thick slices, and place in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Remove from boiling water and feel off skin. Reserve hot water on the side.
- Chop butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic.
- Over medium heat, warm olive oil in the large pot and sautee onions and garlic, until fragrant.
- Add butternut squash and sweet potatoes and sautee, just to coat them in the olive oil and onion garlic flavours.
- Add the reserved hot water and rosemary, and turn the heat up to bring to the boil. Once it boils, turn down and simmer until the butternut squash and potatoes are soft.
- One batch at a time, blend soup to reach a velvety consistency. (if it is too thick add some water, if it is too runny, discard some of the liquid from the soup)
- Once entire soup has been blended, return to the large pot, and heat through adding the cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately alone, with croutons, or with a spoon of cream cheese in each bowl.