Sometimes only a warming comforting soup will do and today was one of those days. The wind was howling around the house and I had a load of work to do in the office, so didn’t have much time to cook myself a ‘proper’ lunch. Due to time restraints, I didn’t roast the butternut squash beforehand (something I normally would do) but simply added it with the potato. Pouring it into the soup bowl I got in the sales from Delia’s Kitchen in Cork, was almost as satisfying as eating it. It was liquid silk with the warm hint of chili. Sitting down and spooning the soup with the wind still raging outside, was the most comforting thing all day – it left me with a smile on my face and a very happy tummy. Slices of sourdough bread that I bought (I admit it, I still haven’t made my own sourdough starter since my old one died) from ABC Bakery in the English Market completed the dish and gave me all the energy I needed to get back to work and actually complete two newsletters for clients.
Try to make the soup – it is so easy and so delicious. I have used vegetable stock as I had it at home but you can also use chicken stock. Fresh chili can be used instead of the chili powder, I was just too lazy to chop one.
Serves 4 as starter or 2 as main event
A slug of olive oil, a bit of butter, 1 onion (diced), 1/2 butternut squash (peeled and cubed), 1 medium potato (peeled and cubed), vegetable stock (hot, enough to cover the vegetables by 1 inch), chili powder to taste, seasoning (I used my aromatic salt I made with fresh herbs a while back), cream to drizzle (totally optional but I think it always looks nice to drizzle a bit of cream over the soup – you could also use a dollop of sour cream instead).
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan large enough for all the vegetables, add the butter to melt. Add the onions and sautée until soft and translucent (you don’t want them to brown). Now add the vegetables, stock and chili powder (be careful, you don’t want to burn your tongue – you can still add more later). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot and let to simmer for about half an hour until the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Leave to cool, then pour the soup into a food processor or blender (I used a blender) and process until smooth (remember, liquid silk. Return to the pot (rinse it out) and heat up again if needed. Season with salt & pepper and maybe add a bit more chili powder if you like it hot. Pour into soup bowl, drizzle with cream or sour cream and serve with slices of sourdough bread (or any other bread – I just love sourdough).
Enjoy and smile xx