Butternut squash is in season and one of the tastiest and easiest things you can do with it is make soup. In fact, butternut squash soup is really as easy as blitzing up some cooked butternut squash with a bit of stock (this is a great thing to do with leftover butternut squash for a quick lunch). It all gets even better with a few herbs and, if you're feeling decadent, a bit of cream.
The recipe below offers a basic template for butternut squash soup. The ingredients may be few but trust me - the whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts.
In fact, you almost don't want to mess around with this soup for fear of adulterating its pure buttery butternut goodness. But don't let that stop you from experimenting. Try subbing the sage with curry powder and the cream with coconut milk. Add tomatoes or roasted red pepper. Or skip the blending altogether and go for something more rustic.
Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Mark Bittman's Pumpkin Soup from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.
3 Tbsp butter or oil
3 pounds butternut squash (or any winter squash like acorn, pumpkin or kabocha), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup cream (optional)
1. Heat the butter or oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens - about 5 minutes. Add the herbs, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until fragrant (about another minute or two). Add the stock and bring to a boil then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butternut squash starts to fall apart (this will take about 30 minutes).
2. Puree the soup with a blender (an immersion blender is handy here).
3. Gently warm the pureed soup until almost boiling. Stir in the cream and heat through. Taste and add more salt and pepper if it needs it.