Monday, 1 November 2010

Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons

I love butternut squash soup, nothing compares to how warming, thick and creamy it turns out, perfect for misty Autumn days, curled up next to an open fire.  I usually just fry up an onion add chopped and peeled squash with vegetable stock and chopped sage leaves, simmer away for 20 mins then blitz with a hand blender, add a little creme fraich or cream if I have it to hand and yum.  Whilst riffling through the Jamie at Home cook book I noticed his recipe and decided to give it a go.

Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Serves 8

olive oil
16 fresh sage leaves
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
2 carrots peeled and chopped
4 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary leaves stripped
1 fresh red chilli chopped
2Kg butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chunked
2 ltrs chicken or veg stock
16 slices of ciabatta (I used french stick slices)

In a large pan add oil and heat then fry the sage leaves until dark and crisp, approx 30 secs remove and put to one side.  Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary, chilli and S&P to the oil and cook gently for 10 mins until soft.  Add the squash and stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 mins.
Whilst the soup is cooking drizzle oil over the bread slices and the press in some grated Parmesan  on each side of the slices.  In a non stick frying pan fry with no extra oil until golden on both sides.

Once the squash is soft and cooked through whiz the soup with a blender, I like it fairly smooth with a few chunky bits.
Dish up and serve with 2 croutons on each and the fried sage leaves on the top and an extra grating of Parmesan.

This is a great soup and a good way of using up all the leftover squashes and pumpkins from my Autumnal/Halloween display.

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