Homemade butternut squash and chilli soup

A tin of soup from the supermarket costs about a £1 for a single serving and is full of sneaky salt and probably not all that tasty. This homemade butternut squash soup recipe costs about 40p per serving and makes enough for FOUR servings, making it ideal for bigger groups, particularly hungry boyfriends or leftovers-lovers (HI!). And it’s much healthier. No-brainer?

Added to all that, winter is well and truly coming and it’s officially get-under-the-blanket-as-soon-as-you-get-home season – the perfect time for tummy-warming soups. Chicken soup is a real favourite of mine towards the end of the year, largely because I’ll spend most of it battling a cold, but butternut squash is a close second, which is great as squashes are at their best right now (and if you take a quick look at Instagram, also EVERYWHERE).

My butternut squash soup is very simple but I like to give it a little kick with some garlic and a couple of chillis. You can leave the chillis out if you want a milder, creamier taste. From there it really is just a case of roasting your butternut squash, frying the rest of the ingredients and then tipping it all into a blender for a smooth soup-y result Then you can faff about with as many toppings as you like – I like lots and recommend a swirl of extra virgin olive oil, a few dots of yoghurt, a squeeze of truffle balsamic and some fresh herbs. Of course, it’s fine as it is too.

Sold? Read on for my easy butternut squash and chilli soup recipe…

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Serves 4

You’ll need:

Butter & olive oil for cooking

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 red chilli & 1 green chilli, chopped finely

800ml vegetable stock

Pre-heat the oven to 180-200. Arrange the squash chunks in a baking tray, generously drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a little butter and olive oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic and chillis. Once it starts to spit and sizzle turn the heat down really low, pop the lid on the pan and leave for 10-15 minutes. You want the onions to be super soft but you don’t want them to change colour too much.

Once the squash is done, tip it into the onion pan, give it a good mash and a mix and then add the hot stock. When that’s all combined it will look a bit unappealing and chunky – worry not! Turn off the heat and let it cool a little, then pour it into a blender. I used my NutriBullet so had to do it in two batches, using the two large cup attachments.

Whizz the soup until it’s smooth and then, once cooled, keep in the fridge until you need it. If you’re ready to tuck in straight away, pour it back into the pan and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring all the time.

For a thicker, more indulgent finish, pour in half a cup of creme fraiche, but I promise you, it’s delicious without.

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Freelance writer, eater, drinker and cook living in London.

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