I thought it appropriate to start the New Year with a simple, winter soup that I made yesterday. To be honest, butternut squash seems to be available year-round these days, though I use it only in autumn and winter, where it belongs. Makes about 2 litres:-
350g mixed butternut squash and sweet potato , diced (some supermarkets do ready-prepped packs around this size – if they’re smaller, use 2 or 3)
3 golf-ball sized red onions, roughly chopped (you can use ordinary onions, but I prefer the taste and colour of red
A dozen or so mini plum tomatoes
Dried basil to taste (or dried thyme)
1 Kallo organic veg stock cube
1 tablespoon sweet paprika (I like the stuff, you might prefer a little less – don’t use the smoked version, it’ll be horrible)
Sea salt and black pepper to adjust seasoning when finished.
In the pan in which you intend to cook the soup, fry off the onions and the squash/sweet potato mix in a little olive oil over a brisk heat until browned here and there. Put a splash of olive oil in another pan and cook the tomatoes, briskly, until they burst and are browned a tad.
Tip the tomatoes and their juice in with the other veg, rinse out the pan with boiling water, dissolve the stock cube in it too, add that to the pan and cover the whole lot with more boiling water. Do leave room, it might need thinning after it’s been blitzed with a stick blender. Or whatever kind of blender you have; stick blenders do keep the washing-up to a minimum – as long as you don’t spray yourself and the kitchen with soup!
Simmer until the squash and sweet potato are soft, then set aside to cool.
When the soup is merely warm – and thus safer – blitz it until smooth with a stick blender or a normal one. Putting it through a sieve, afterwards, to remove tomato seeds and bits of skin will give a smoother texture – your call. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and refrigerate overnight.
The colour was everything I’d hoped for:-
Though I did manage to redecorate the kitchen – and me (wearing a manky old fleece, luckily) – using the blender!
Reheat gently the next day, stirring frequently so it doesn’t catch, and serve with buttered, home-made, crusty bread.