This nutritious, delicious and easy soup, made with butternut squash and other root vegetables, is made a little quirky by serving it in a hollowed out squash!
Now that the clocks have gone back and the scarves are being dug out of the wardrobe, what's better than a bowl of warming soup. A bowl of warming homemade soup with crusty bread perhaps?
Homemade soups are not only quick and easy to make, they're also incredibly versatile as there are infinite flavours that can be made and they enable you to use up vegetable left-overs (and meat if you're not cooking for a vegetarian or a vegan) from the previous day's meal. Waste not want not and all that. I must admit I made this one from scratch rather than from left overs, but should you have any root vegetables remaining from a large meal they'd be seriously great in a soup like this.
Possibly our favourite homemade soup includes butternut squash, part of the same family as the wonderful pumpkin. It's such a beautifully sweet vegetable. I can imagine young children, who often seem to have a pallet which seeks out sweet flavours, enjoying this. I usually add a sweet potato to this soup too, but as I'd forgotten to buy some we tried it without and found it to be equally lovely. The butternut squash was peeled and diced along with the onion, carrots, swede and potatoes and cooked in a vegetable stock with thyme until softened. The soup was then blended until smooth, though of course, feel free to leave it as chunky as you like.
This quantity of vegetables does make a heaving pan of warming soup. If you're perhaps cooking for just one or two people then you could easily divide any remaining soup into individual servings and freeze it once it has cooled sufficiently. For some reason, which I'm not entirely sure of the answer, I always find that homemade soup needs to have the seasoning re-checked when it is re-heated, so do bear this in mind should you re-heat the soup for a quick meal the following day.
For a little bit of seasonal fun why not consider serving the soup to your dinner guests in hollowed out mini squashes, as I have done here. Or perhaps bring the soup to the table in a larger pumpkin and place it in the centre of the dining table!
So, let's get to it and bake!
Butternut Squash and Root Vegetable Soup Yum
Serves: approx. 6
Time: Preparation 10 minutes; upto 50 minutes cooking time (depending how fast you boil the vegetables).
You will need:Large Heavy Based Pan
Stick Blender / Food Processor / Potato Masher
For the Soup1 medium Onion
2 large Carrots
c 350g Potatoes
1 Sweet Potato (optional)
1 medium, Butternut Squash (or another squash if you prefer)
1 tbsp. Cooking Oil
2 Vegetable Oxo Cubes
2 - 3 sprigs of fresh Thyme
Serving Suggestion (optional)Small Squashes hollowed out
A little cream or natural yoghurt (vegan creams are available)
How to make it1. Prepare the vegetables. Peel, slice and chop the vegetables. As each vegetable cooks at a different rate, cube each one a different size so that they are ready at the same time (ie/ potatoes cook quicker than swede, so the swede will need to be chopped smaller).
2. Cook the onions. Pour the oil in the pan and place it over a medium heat. Allow the oil to heat up for a minute then add the chopped onions. Turn the heat down and regularly move the onions around as they cook for 5 minutes or so. You're aiming for them to be softened and translucent rather than coloured and charred.
3. Make the stock. Crumble the Oxos into a measuring jug. Add around 1 litre of boiling water from the kettle and mix together.
4. Cook the remaining vegetables. Add the prepared carrots, swede, potatoes, and squash to the pan (and sweet potato if you're including it). Pour in the vegetable stock. Top up with more water so that all the vegetables are covered. Add the thyme sprigs, seasoning and stir together well. Allow the vegetables to cook over a low to medium heat. The cooking time may be anything up to 50 minutes depending upon how small the vegetables have been cubed, the speed you are cooking the vegetables and, of course, if they were already cooked from a previous meal.
5. Prepare the squash bowls. If you're intending on serving the soup in pumpkins (large or small) prepare them whilst the soup cooks. Wash the outside of the squashes. Cut a small part off the base to ensure it is steady before filling and serving. Cut the top off and set it aside (this will act as a lid when serving your guests). Remove the pulp and seeds. Rinse the inside of the squash to ensure that no seeds or pulp remains.
6. Blend the soup. Once the vegetables are cooked though remove the thyme sprigs (just the stems as the leaves will be incorporated in the soup at this point). Use a stick blender (as we do) or carefully pour the soup into a food processor to blend it until you achieve your desired smoothness / chunkiness. Alternatively, you could use a potato masher to break the vegetables down leaving some pieces chunky. Place back onto the hob and add a little more water if the soup is particularly thick. Check the seasoning, adjusting it if necessary.
7. Serve. Ladle into bowls or the carved out mini squashes. Drizzle with a little pouring cream or natural yoghurt. Serve with a crusty slice of bread.
This post has been shared with:
Meatless Monday hosted by Tina over at Fuel for Future
Meat Free Mondays hosted by Jacqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes
No Croutons Required co-hosted by Lisa at Lisa's Kitchen and Jaqueline at Tinned Tomatoes(this month with Lisa)
Three Sons Later, for the reason that this soup can easily be made with left over root vegetables from the previous day's meal.