Butternut Squash soup is by far one of our favourite winter warmers. There are a variety of recipes out there, this one is nice and easy and you can tweak it, adding extra veg or spicing it up with extra chilli.
Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli & Crème Fraîche
1 butternut squash, about 1kg, peeled and deseeded
2 tbsp olive oil (3 tbsp if not using butter)
1 tbsp butter (optional)
2 onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 mild red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
850ml hot vegetable stock
4 tbsp crème fraîche, plus more to serve
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
1. Cut the squash into large cubes, about 4cm/1½in across, then toss in a large roasting tin with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Roast for 30 mins, turning once during cooking, until golden and soft.
2. While the squash cooks, melt the butter (if using) with the remaining oil in a large saucepan, then add the onions, garlic and ¾ of the chilli. Cover and cook on a very low heat for 15-20 mins until the onions are completely soft.
3. Tip the squash into the pan, add the stock and the crème fraîche, then whizz with a stick blender until smooth. If you don't have a stick blender or for a really silky texture, put the soup into a liquidiser and blitz it in batches. Return to the pan, gently reheat, then season to taste.
4. Serve the soup in bowls with swirls of crème fraîche and a scattering of the remaining chopped chilli.
Tip: If pushed for prep time, try roasting the squash skin on - just cut into quarters top to bottom. (Leave to cool after roasting, the skin just peels off and you can scoop out the seeds, be aware this take a bit longer to cook!) Instead of frying the veg separately try roasting it for the last 20-25 minutes in the same tin with the oil (and butter if using).