Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, I have reluctantly had to cut my time in Italy short and am now back in London. It breaks my heart seeing what has been my home for the last few months, go through the extreme changes over the past week, and I only hope that the measures put in place will help reduce the fatalities and those contracting the virus itself. If you’re from Italy and reading this – ti mando un grande abbraccio virtuale! ❤️
I will need some time to get settled back in here in London and I will be back soon with some new recipes. Thankfully, I do have some recipes that I had been working on up my sleeve to share with you! First up, my butternut squash soup!
I have been making this for a few years now, and depending who I make it for, I actually increase the garlic by 1 or 2 cloves (you know who you are) – I warn you, it’s pungent. I normally make this with pancetta which adds a saltiness to the soup and balances out the sweetness of the butternut squash, and I love keeping half aside and crisping it up to use as croutons. This is totally optional, and if you want to keep this butternut squash soup completely veggie/vegan then you can leave this out.
I also used to add cream into the soup, but I have found that I actually prefer it without as the potatoes give the butternut squash soup that creamy consistency (you may have noticed this with all my recipes). Again, if you are someone that loves a splash of cream in their soups, then feel free to add this right at the end. You can use single cream, crème fraîche or even coconut cream.
If you’re on a Whole30, then this butternut squash soup is another great one for you to enjoy. Just make sure your stock is compliant and if you can’t get compliant pancetta, just use a compliant bacon instead!
If you’ve never worked with butternut squash before, here are my top tips for peeling one:
Carefully stab the butternut squash all over so you pierce the skin.
Stick it in the microwave for 3-5 mins on high. Be careful when you take it out as it will be hot!
Let it cool a little, then, using a tea-towel to hold it, use a speed peeler to remove the skin – it will just glide off!
You will then be able to cut it up and remove the seeds ready for the soup!
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients 25g Unsalted butter or ghee 1 Medium Butternut squash, peeled, chopped into large chunks 2 Large Potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped 1 Large White onion, roughly chopped 1 Garlic clove, minced 200ml Chicken and vegetable stock 1 Tbsp Cumin 1 Tsp Nutmeg 100g Pancetta, optional 1 Tsp Salt 1/2 Tsp Pepper
To serve: Croutons, Aleppo Pepper
In a large saucepan, add the butter and allow to melt on a medium heat. Once melted, add the chopped butternut squash, potatoes and onion. Sauté for 10 minutes until lightly caramelised.
Add the garlic, cumin, nutmeg and season with a little salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, if using, fry the pancetta, and when cooked, add half to the saucepan. You can continue to fry the other half so it gets nice and crispy. Set aside.
Once the vegetables are caramelised, pour in the stock – I tend to mix chicken and vegetable for flavour, but you can just add vegetable stock if preferred. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
Once the squash is fork tender, turn off the heat and carefully blend using an electric blender/hand blender, until creamy. Check the seasoning, and adjust to taste.
Serve with a sprinkle of croutons and the crispy pancetta if using.