roast butternut squash soup with game-changing toppings

roast butternut squash soup

You’re probably noticing a theme if you regularly make my recipes. As much as the core recipe needs to be good, it is the added last-minute extras that transform it into something amazing. This roast butternut squash soup is no different. At this time of year the internet is exploding with butternut squash and pumpkin soup recipes, as it should. Do yourself a favour and make this roast butternut squash soup, and add the toppings – they make all the difference. The salt of the cheese and the fire of the chilli along with the citrussy freshness of the coriander balances the sweet silkiness of the soup perfectly.

And if you’re making this for fussy family members, just put bowls of the various toppings on the table and let them add what they will eat to their portion.

Roast butternut squash soup is perfect for batch cooking and freezing

You might as well make a huge batch of this and freeze it in individual portions for future lunches and dinners. One lot of cooking, one lot of mess and lots of easy meals is my favourite way to cook.

Why I roast first

Roasting the squash for this roast butternut squash soup concentrates the flavour as it forces some of the water out and caramelises the sugars within it to give you a much more robust flavour. I often roast my squash in the evening while I’m making dinner, use a little bit with my dinner (it is amazing stirred into pasta or curry) and then keep the rest to add to soup the next day. Just transfer it to a bowl and cover it in the fridge if you’re leaving it for the next day. Push yourself to let it cook longer than you think you should. The dark brown bits are what makes the flavour of the soup so good.

cooked squash

Stop peeling! – how to prep your squash safely

So many people think you need to peel butternut squash, and I think that’s what puts people off. It would put me off for sure. But when you roast it, with the skin on, the skin is sticky and delicious and keeps all those precious nutrients inside. And you’re saving time, reducing the risk of a knife injury and not throwing any any of your hard earned money either! I’ve posted a video below to show you how best to chop your squash safely.

I’m increasingly using English grown, cold-pressed rapeseed oil since I moved back to England this summer. It stands up better to high temperatures than olive oil. It also has much higher levels of omega 3s than any other vegetable oil. The closest US equivalent is Canola oil but be careful about picking one that is non GMO if you’re stateside, or just use olive oil.

Find more of my soup recipes here.

Roast butternut squash soup ingredients

(makes 6-8 servings)

2 large butternut squash

2 large red onions

1 and a half tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil or olive oil, some for roasting the squash and some for frying the onion

Around 1200ml (5 US cups) of the best quality vegetable or chicken stock you can find, warmed (obviously use vegetable stock if you are serving this to vegetarians!). Homemade is the best (my recipe for it is here) or in the UK I like the Kallo organic cubes. In the US, Better Than Bouillon paste

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

sea salt to taste

Toppings:

roughly chopped coriander leaves (cilantro), sliced red chilli, crumbled feta, toasted pumpkin seeds

Equipment

You can buy my essential kitchen equipment through this post. Just click on the link and you can add the item straight into your Amazon cart to buy later (you may need to double click on a phone or tablet). If a price is shown in dollars and you are in the UK, it will take you through to the Amazon UK item in pounds once you put it in your cart. I’ve spent years testing my favourite bits of equipment so rest-assured that whatever I recommend is the best tool for the job and will give you great results without cluttering your kitchen with unused tools.

To make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
  2. Right, time to tackle that squash. Watch the video below or follow these instructions: Scrub your butternut squash but don’t peel it. Cut the top (narrowest) stalk off then cut the bottom half inch off to create a flat base. Hold the squash so it is sitting on the now flat base. Using a big, sharp knife, cut it in half through its waist to create two halves which can then be cut in half top to bottom. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. These can be roasted separately for a crunchy topping or can be thrown away. Chop the squash into 1 inch slices then turn the slices on their side and chop them into 1-2 inch pieces so you are left with a pile of cubes.

3. Tumble the squash onto a large metal baking sheet – you may need two sheets depending on the size of your squash – drizzle with the oil and use your hands to turn the chunks so they are just about coated with the oil – don’t stress about being too precise. Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of sea salt and put in the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes until the chunks are soft and dark golden on the edges. If your oven cooks unevenly, you’ll need to move the cubes around the tray after about 20 minutes.

4. When your squash is almost ready, peel and chop your onions into half moons (see video)

5. Take a large saucepan (big enough to hold the squash later) and heat around a teaspoon of oil before adding your onion and fennel seeds. Stir well and cook for 5-8 minutes over a medium high heat until the onion softens and starts to turn sticky.

6. Add the roasted squash to the pan of onions, be sure to use a silicone spatula to scrape all the sticky bits into your pan as they have all the flavour.

7. Stir and then add the warmed stock. You want the stock to come up to the level of the top of the squash. Then put the lid on and bring to the boil on a high heat. When it boils, drop the heat to medium and leave to simmer with the lid on for 10-15 minutes.

8. Take the lid off and use an immersion blender or regular blender to carefully purée the mixture. At this stage I usually add a little more stock to get the consistency right. I’d rather add more liquid at this stage than at the beginning as it gives me more control and stops the soup being too watery. I like my soup pretty thick but you adjust it to suit you.

9. Taste and adjust the salt then serve the roast butternut squash soup topped with crumbled feta, chopped basil or coriander (cilantro) and sliced chilli. You can add some toasted pumpkin seeds or crispy bacon too.

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