Autumn squash soup (v)

The wonderful thing about squash is each type tastes noticeably different, from the creamy mild butternut to the denser, nuttier red onion and the rich, sweet kabocha. Its worth making a soup out of every variety you can get your hands on at least once, so it's a while before this recipe will start to get boring.

 

Serves 3-4 as a starter

 

Ingredients

 

800g squash e.g. butternut, kabocha, red onion

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

Ground cinnamon

Nutmeg

Sea salt 

Black pepper

 

What you need

 

A blender or hand blender

 

What to do

 

Split your squash in half and scoop out all the seeds. Chop the flesh into chunks, slicing off the skin as you go along, until you end up with pieces that are roughly similar and bite sized. Alternatively this is a novel way to deal with a larger, tougher squash.

 

Combine the onion, oil and a pinch of salt in a saucepan, cover and set over a low heat. Allow the onion to sweat gently until it first softens and then starts to colour and caramelise, around ten minute. Stir occasionally to stop any onion browning too much and burning. 

 

Turn the heat up to high. Add the squash, season with salt and pepper and stir well. Pour over enough cold water to just cover the squash, cover the pan and bring to the boil. Let the squash bubble away for 15 to 20 minutes. You'll know it’s done when your squash cubes have melted into a soft pulp.

 

Take the pan off the heat and blend everything into a soft, velvety consistency. Add small pinches of cinnamon and grated nutmeg to the soup, blending and tasting after each addition until it is to your liking. Finish with freshly ground black pepper and more salt if needed.

 

This soup is delicious on its own or you could add dollop of crème fraîche, a sprinkle of hot paprika or cayenne and a squeeze of fresh lime.