Did you know that you can use absolutely any vegetable in your pantry to make soups?
Soup can make a dull day turn bright and the soup that takes me to that happy place is this simple to make butternut soup that will leave you licking your soup bowl. This is my no-brainer dinner option when we want to have something simple yet amazing.
The beautiful thing about the butternut vegetable (otherwise known as the butter squash) is that you can bake it, boil it, fry it and cook it in a meal or use it to wean your baby. It’s that versatile! I actually remember a time when my mum used to steam some for breakfast and she’d just season them with salt and they’d be so yummy!!
Some of the things that I’ve learnt over time while making soups is that frying them with a bit of butter/cooking oil makes the whole lot of a difference, as compared to just boiling and blending them. Frying caramelizes the butternuts natural sugars, making the soup sweeter.
Another secret I’ve learnt is that you should allow your onions to brown. This adds colour to white based soups and a very nice flavour to any soup. Make sure they don’t burn or your soup will have a ‘burnt’ taste.
Fresh produce will always give you the best soups. Go for butternuts without spots and blemishes that have a light brown/light orange colour. Most of them tend to have a very bright orange flesh, perfect for that orange colour that is distinct to butternut soups.
Flavouring? You can add a bit of ginger and nutmeg to warm yourself up during cold nights; an apple to add some sweetness; some carrots for more flavour; a bit of lemon jiuce for those who love tangy tastes; Coconut Cream/milk to give it an Ulala flavour… You can just about add anything to your butternut soup. A little of these ‘extras’ go a long way and they don’t deprive the natural butternut flavour from your soup. Don’t use all of them at once, select one additive and try it out, then try another on a different day until you find The One flavour that works for you.
Another thing, I do not throw away my peeling and seeds from my vegetables while making soups. I Boil them up and use them as vegetable stock in place of water. If you’d like more flavour, you can also opt for chicken broth in place of vegetable stock.
Prep Time: 45 min
Here’s what you need:
- 1 Medium sized butternut, cubed
- 3 Medium carrots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Large onion, diced
- 2 cups vegetable broth/water. 1 extra cup of broth to adjust soup consistency.
- 3 bay leaves (optional)
- Salt to taste
- A blender
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted butter/ cooking oil
This is how you make them:
- Pour your butter/oil in your pan (sufuria) on medium-low heat.
- Add your onions once the oil is hot and allow them to turn slightly brown. Stir occasionally to ensure they cook evenly.
- Add garlic once the onions have browned and stir until fragrant.
- Add your chopped butternut and carrots and stir. Allow simmering for 10-15 minutes, constantly stirring to ensure they don’t stick to the bottom of your pan.
- Add your two cups of broth/water and add salt to taste and increase heat until they start boiling. Then lower the heat and simmer till the butternut become tender and mushy, around 15 min.
- Remove the bay leaves if using and allow the soup to slightly cool.
- You can use your hand blender or transfer the soup to your blender.
- Transfer the soup back to your pan and reheat. You can add the final cup of broth a little at a time depending on the desired soup consistency. Add salt to taste
You can have this with these bread rolls
Share with me how your experience was making this soup and what flavours you used.
This article was first published on March 13th, 2018