Thursday, 17 May 2012

Roasted Potato and Butternut Squash Soup


In the ever weird London weather, soup always serves a purpose...to warm you up. So not too long ago, when London (in April) was getting seriously cold, I figured why not chop up the butternut squash and leftover potatoes to make soup. I do make butternut squash soup from time to time but figured a heartier soup would be good to keep the energy up, the body warm and still remain healthy at the same.

So what went into it?

Ingredients:
1 medium sized butternut squash
3 to 4 medium sized potatoes (fit for roasting)
4 to 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
10 bay leaves
a good toss of dried thyme, basil and oregano
1 yellow onion - finely diced
500ml Vegetable broth / stock 
olive oil
salt
pepper

To accompany:
Freshly baked scones
a dollop of double cream / creme fraiche / greek yoghurt / single cream
Freshly ground black pepper
a drizzle of good olive oil

Method:
  1. Firstly heat up your oven to 190 Degrees Celcius
  2. Then prep your butternut squash by quatering it, leaving the skin on. Line them on a baking tray. The same goes with the potatoes with the skin on.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on the squash and potatoes, toss the dried herbs evenly including the bay leaves. For the fresh rosemary, remove the stems and then toss the rosemary onto the potatoes and squash. Last but not least, salt and pepper. Place into oven and let it roast for about an hour or when pricked with a fork it pierces easily. It would best when the edges of the potatoes and squash are brown from the roasting. That adds flavour to the soup.
  4. Remove roasted vegetables and let it cool. Mean time, heat up a pot with the onions and olive oil. 
  5. Make sure the onions have softened before adding in the vegetable stock. You have various options of making vegetable stock, either using stock cubes or from scratch. Let it come to a boil and then let it simmer.
  6. Meanwhile, using a spoon, spoon out the roasted squash from its skin (much like how you'd remove avocado flesh from its shell) onto a plate. Do not remove the herbs as that would also to the flavour of the soup. The only herb removed is the bayleaves. Cut the potatoes into smaller pieces leaving the skin on. Transfer the squash flesh and cut potatoes into the pot and let it simmer and soak up the vegetable broth. 
  7. Add in a little more salt and pepper if there isn't enough seasoning from the roasting. When the roasted vegetables and soup begins to incorporate after about 20mins, blitz it either with a hand blender or a blender. Be sure to cover the blender to avoid spritzing and when using a hand blender, careful not to blend too high as then bits of soup would fly!
  8. Ensuring that the pot of soup is literally creamed up (no bits of potatoes or squash are in sight but fully amalgamated with the stock), let it simmer for a little longer ( 5 to 10 mins max). Switch off and let it cool for a little.
  9. Then spoon out on to bowls, drizzle the olive oil, the cream and grind freshly ground black pepper onto the soup and serve a scone on the side. Bread is also a good alternative.
I made this when mom was around and she was licking the bowl at the end of it... 

To make it have a curry flavour at the end of it, when cooking the onions, toss a tbsp of curry powder in. Any kind will do. It would add another dimension to it. Prefer curry paste? Also possible. Spoon the same amount in and stir to let the aromas release into the air.

Now come on...this is one good vegetarian soup I must say...

The Innovative Baker

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