Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Autumn is definitely here! The heating finally went back on this weekend after almost 24 hours of perfectly Scottish dreich. So I figured it was time and, to be honest, I’m not really complaining because I’m properly ready for some cold weather.  And soup, apparently 🙂 This one, in particular, is probably my absolute favourite of all the ones Hubby cooks (which makes him sound like some kind of weird soup fiend, but he isn’t!)

He mocks me for my love of blended soups, prefers them chunky himself, but when the result is a rich, silky smooth bowl of liquid magic like this then bring out the blender I say!

We also like to call this the ‘clean out the vegetable drawer‘ soup… Anything that’s languishing in there gets tossed into the roasting tin along with the squash and sweet potatoes. So every time Hubby makes this it’s just a little bit different, with new layers of flavour depending on what he finds in the drawer. And holding all those flavours up is coconut milk, giving this dish a lovely creaminess that marries perfectly with the heat of the chillis in a bit of a South East Asian twist.

We normally top with homemade croutons but in my neverending browse of Pinterest I saw a Thai-ed up butternut squash soup from a blog called Carlsbad Cravings where they roasted the seeds in a sweet and spicy mix and popped them on top of the soup.  To be fair, I only made them to garnish the picture (soup is incredibly difficult to photograph and make look interesting!) but the seeds are delicious, all sticky with the honey and spicy with the Sriracha and crunchy with the roasting. Make them! You won’t regret it 🙂

Before I hand you over to Hubby and his recipe, don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients – half of it goes in the roasting tray and the other half are spices.  Also, he rambles… Bless. 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4
The flavours of Autumn in a bowl, a balanced blend of coconut and spice that'll heat up those cold, windy days.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Stuff you'll need for the soup...
  1. 1 butternut squash
  2. 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  3. 2 red chillies
  4. 1 red bell pepper or 2 sweet red romano peppers
  5. 3 carrots
  6. 1 white onion
  7. 1 bulb of garlic (the larger sizes for roasting are perfect)
  8. 1 pint / 2 cups chicken stock (stock cube or gel pot is fine if you can't find stock)
  9. 1/3 - 1/2 pint / 1.5 cups warm water
  10. 1 400g can coconut milk (or 200ml double / heavy cream if you don't like coconut)
  11. Oil for roasting
  12. 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon (more to taste)
  13. 3/4 tsp ground ginger (more to taste)
  14. 1/2 to 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  15. 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  16. Salted butter
  17. salt and pepper to taste, white pepper is best
  18. Optional - Cayenne pepper - To add warmth if the chillies weren't hot enough for you
  19. Optional - 1 to 2 tsp chicken powder
  20. Optional - Few dashes Maggi Liquid Seasoning
Stuff you'll need for the Honey Sriracha Butternut Squash Seeds...
  1. saved butternut squash seeds
  2. 1 tbsp honey
  3. 1/2 tsp groundnut/vegetable oil
  4. 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/4 tsp ground cumin
Prep!
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. While it's heating up, chop the stem and top off of the squash, and then halve it lengthwise down the middle. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and set aside. Continue scraping out all of the fibrous seed strands until the hollow of the squash is clean. If you're going to roast the seeds, rinse to get any stubborn fibrous stuff of the seeds and then pat dry with kitchen roll
  2. Next, peel your carrots and cut off the tops, and peel your sweet potatoes. Halve the potatoes lengthwise and cut into thick half-round slices, then cut the carrots into thumb-sized chunks.
  3. Peel your onion and cut off the top and bottom, then cut into chunky quarters. Cut the stems from the chillies, slice open and de-seed them. Now do the same for your peppers.
  4. Lastly, peel the outer layer of the garlic, and then chop of the top so that you expose the cloves within.
Cook soup!
  1. Place the squash in your roasting pan cut-side up, and then arrange the other root vegetables around it. Place your whole bulb of garlic in one of the hollows of the squash, and then drizzle the lot with olive or vegetable oil and mix it about to coat. Next lay the chillies and peppers on top of the other veg, skin side up, and drizzle with a bit more oil.
  2. Cover the pan with tinfoil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. After the first half-hour has passed, give the veg a good shoogle about and remove the foil. Put the pan back in the oven, and roast the vegetables for another 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your oven.
  4. Check and stir the vegetables every 20 minutes or so, and add more oil as necessary to keep the veg from drying out.
  5. When you're roasting the veg you'll need to take the chillies out first, once the skin starts to blister. The peppers will be the second to come out. Be sure to check the garlic as well, and take it out once it's begun to darken in colour and is soft. If the onion begins to blacken, go ahead and remove it as well.
  6. The carrots only need to be softened, as the other veg will roast much quicker, that's ok. The other root veg should ideally be fork-tender.
  7. When the roasting is finished,, allow the vegetables to cool for a bit. While they're cooling, peel the skins from the chillies and peppers and discard. Then squeeze the garlic cloves out of the bulb and set aside with the peppers.
  8. If you're roasting the butternut squash seeds, lower the oven heat to 150C/300F, line a baking tray with parchment or foil and set aside for now.
  9. Now peel the skin from the squash and discard it before breaking the roasted squash into rough pieces.
  10. Next you'll want to blend the vegetables. This is easiest if you have a stick blender, but if you put them into a blender / liquidiser you can strain the lot later, and this is ideal because the finished soup should be smooth and silky. As a note, you may want to add the chillies one at a time, as they can vary in heat, just taste the mix as you go.
  11. Blend all of the vegetables until smooth, adding the chicken stock throughout to make it easier to blend.
  12. After the squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, chillies, peppers and garlic are all blended, strain the mixture through a mesh strainer into a large saucepan or stewpot. You'll need to press the veg through the strainer using the back of a spoon.
  13. Once you've done that, it's time to add the spices and seasoning, followed by the coconut milk (or double cream). Stir well until all of the spices are incorporated then bring the soup up to a good simmer and add extra water (or milk) as needed until the soup is the desired thickness and consistency. It's generally quite a thick soup even with the coconut milk in, so the listed measurements of extra water are a good guide to go by.
  14. If you're roasting the seeds, this is when you want to get them going (see breakout recipe below).
  15. After about ten minutes on simmer the soup should be warm and ready to serve (if you're roasting the seeds then just leave it simmering while they're in the oven, you might need to add more water/milk if the soup thickens up too much though). Finish by adding a bit of the butter for an added silkiness and flavour, and garnish with a few cracks of black pepper or the lovely roasted squash seeds.
Roast honey sriracha butternut squash seeds!
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the seed ingredients before adding the seeds and stirring until they are evenly coated.
  2. Spread the seeds out evenly on the baking tray and as much in a single layer as you can (they're super sticky!).
  3. Cook for 25-30 minutes (if you like your seeds really crunchy then leave in for a little longer). The seeds will be a little soft when they first come out but will crunch up as they cool.
Notes
  1. The amount of spices in the recipe should be taken as a base reference, feel free to adjust them to your personal taste. If it needs a bit more heat you can add cayenne pepper, but you can absolutely leave it out if the soup is hot enough for you with just the chillies. The spices add another layer of earthiness to complement the squash, or in the case of the cayenne and ginger, a bit more warmth to supplement the chillies.
fifigoesnom http://www.fifigoesnom.com/
Roasted Parsnip & Apple Soup

Roasted Parsnip & Apple Soup

Soup has always been a starter for me rather than a meal in itself.  Any suggestions in the past by Hubby to have soup and nothing but soup was met with my sulky face and a not very under my breath mutter of “It’s a waste of food inventory…”  And then he made me his so-delicious-its-almost-indecent butternut squash soup last year… After eating my own body weight in the stuff and finding myself feeling not at all cheated of a meal I didn’t really have any choice but to revise my opinion of soup, including the putting away of the sulky face (!)

So with the onset of Autumn I thought I’d try and expand my quite limited soup portfolio this year with a some new recipes.  This weekend was  the first quiet weekend we’d had in ages, perfect to get souping, starting with something distinctly seasonal.  It turned out rather well, if I may say so myself 🙂  And I’m sure the skies turning dark and the heavens opening just as we sat down to eat this with a few cheeky posh sausage rolls only added to the comfortingness of the soup.

The original recipe is by Flourishing Foodie as discovered and drooled over on Foodgawker, and I was as inspired by the photo composition as I was by the idea of a soup made out of roasted parsnips.  I love parsnips, and roasting them really heightens their sweetness and that nutty flavour they have.  And any worries I might have harboured about the combination of parsnips and apple being too sweet were sorted out by Flourishing Foodie’s quite inspired topping of a few shavings of parmesan, adding a lovely deep savoury note (umami for the win!).

I’ve frozen the leftovers in single portions for later, including the leftover half loaf of sourdough (croutoning up a whole loaf for just two of us seemed a little daft) so that I can make those delicious croutons again too.  And I’m thinking of adding a wee drizzle of garlic flavoured olive oil over the soup before decorating with the croutons and herbs next time.  I’ll let you know how that turns out 🙂 

And I’m never ever buying store bought croutons again, EVER!!

Roasted Parsnip & Apple Soup
Nutty parsnip and sweet apple is perfectly offset by lovely savoury parmesan shavings.
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Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Stuff you’ll need…
  1. 2 lbs parsnips, trimmed, peeled, and chopped
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 60 grams salted butter
  4. 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  5. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  6. 2 large apples, peeled and chopped
  7. 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  8. 2.5 pints chicken stock/broth
  9. 1/2 cup double cream
  10. salt and pepper to taste
  11. fresh loaf of bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (cannot recommend sourdough enough!)
  12. fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved
  13. herbs to garnish (parsley, basil, oregano or tarragon should all work)
Cook soup!
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Toss the chopped parsnips in the olive oil until all the pieces are mostly coated, then lay them out on a baking tray in a single layer. Roast for 60 minutes, turning them every 20 minutes until they’re tender enough to pierce easily with a fork.
  2. Set the stewpot over a medium heat and add the butter. When it’s beginning to foam and has turned a light brown add the onions. When they’re lovely and translucent stir in the nutmeg.
  3. Next, add the apples, potato, and roasted parsnips to the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Give it a stir every now and then to stop it from sticking or burning.
  4. Then add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil before reducing the heat right down until the stock is simmering and leave it to bubble away gently for half an hour.
  5. After that, check the veg is ready – you want it soft enough again to pierce easily with a fork. If you’re using a traditional blender scoop the veg out, or sieve it over a large bowl to catch and keep the liquid bit of the soup , and blend until it’s a lovely smooth puree (you might need to do this in batches).
  6. Add the pureed veg back into stewpot with the liquid soup, add the double cream, stir well, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Keep warm on a low-medium heat until you’re ready to serve. If the soup is a little too thick then add some milk or water to thin and recheck your seasoning.
Cook croutons!
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Slice the bread in one inch cubes – if you want an extra crispy crunch leave the crusts on. Toss your bread cubes in a light drizzle of olive oil and salt and then lay them out on a baking tray in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes, or until they’re as brown (or not brown!) as you like them.
  2. Dish up your soup and drop in some of the fresh croutons (be generous!), shave some Parmesan cheese over the top, and garnish with a leaf or two of your herb of choice (or a light sprinkle of dried herbs).
Notes
  1. Makes about 3.5 pints of soup
fifigoesnom http://www.fifigoesnom.com/
Cauliflower and Cider Soup

Cauliflower and Cider Soup

I have an ex-boyfriend to thank for introducing me to this delicious soup, which was more delicious than the ex apparently as after we broke up it was the soup I pined for rather than him!  And his cat, but that’s another story…

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to get a copy of the recipe at the time. But, I finally found it online last year, hurrah (thanks to easy-soup-recipes.blogspot.com for reuniting us!), and it was every bit as tasty as I remembered 🙂  

The cauliflower blitzes down into a thicky and creamy soup, with the cider adding that sweet and sharp apple note that just goes so perfectly with cauliflower.

This soup is a real winter warmer, and is also the first (and so far only) soup I’ve ever made.  Must sneak another one in before Spring hits… If nothing else, it will give me an excuse to try and get a photo of this that does it justice!

Cauliflower and Cider Soup
Serves 4
A creamy, indulgent warmer that's perfect for a cold winter's day.
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
You’ll need
  1. 1 ¼ lb cauliflower florets (which is about 1 medium head's worth)
  2. 1 onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  4. 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  5. 2 tbsp butter
  6. ½ cup milk
  7. ½ cup double cream
  8. 2 ½ cups cider (a sweet cider like Magners or Bulmers is perfect. This is "hard cider" for you Yanks!)
  9. 1 chicken stock cube / pot
  10. Freshly grated nutmeg
  11. Salt and pepper
  12. Snipped chives for garnish (optional)
Cook!
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat before adding the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes with the occasional stir until everything is just softened.
  2. Then add the carrot and cauliflower to the pan before pouring in the cider. Give it all a good stir and then season it with salt, pepper and a generous grating of nutmeg.
  3. Bring to a boil, then add the chicken stock cube and stir that in before reducing the heat to low and covering the pan. Leave it to cook gently for about 50 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft, and then remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Let the soup cool down a little, then transfer to a blender or food processor and purée the lot until smooth (fifi says... We used a blender and had to purée in batches so probably best to try a little first and see how your blender copes with it. If you're using a food processor the recipe I found says to strain off the cooking liquid and reserve, purée the soup solids with enough cooking liquid to moisten them, and then combine with remaining liquid.)
  5. Return the now puréed soup to the saucepan and stir in the milk and the cream. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed.
  6. Simmer the soup over low heat with the occasional stir until it’s heated through.
  7. Ladle up, garnish with a scatter of chives, or a few drops of olive oil and some freshly milled black pepper, and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Perfect with lots of warm crusty bread to dip (Jus-Rol Bake-it-Fresh Crusty White Rolls, or one of those half baked french sticks that you finish baking yourself are perfect), or a fresh batch of sourdough croutons.
Adapted from Easy Soup Recipes
Adapted from Easy Soup Recipes
fifigoesnom http://www.fifigoesnom.com/