My mumsie called me up the other day (we chat most days) and mentioned that she had just made a really delicious butternut soup but that she was looking for ideas on how to add a little ‘zing’ or ‘kick’ to it. We back and forthed on a few spices but eventually agreed that a pinch of crushed, dried red chillies would do the trick. Needless to say, all the talk of this creamy, spicy soup had me hankering for a bubbling pot of my own, so off to the kitchen I went. (How cool is it that I already had all the ingredients I suspected I would require to make a killer pot of butternut soup?).
I’ve played around with plenty butternut soup recipes over the years and because I friggin love soup, I tend to throw caution to the wind and go really wild with variations… so I’ve tried out – to name but a few – curried butternut soup, butternut and ginger soup, butternut and sweet potato soup, butternut and carrot soup and so on and so on. But this one, now this one is by far my favourite. My precious, if you will. It is an aromatic, creamy, light soup with a hint of chili and a slight sweetness to it. And the texture is incredibly velvety despite the (purposeful) omission of rich creams or dairy products. I’m really proud of this one. Not too shabby for a spontaneous attempt, methinks!
What you need (vegetables):
- 1 large butternut (around 500 grams) cut into even-sized chunks
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 medium potato cut into small chunks
- 3 baby sweet potatoes or 1 medium sweet potato cut into small chunks
- 3/4 large cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
What you need (herbs and spices):
- 1-2 TBL spoons chopped chives (fresh or dried)
- 2 TBL spoons honey
- 1/4 tsp crushed, dried red chili flakes
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- sprig of thyme
- 1 x stick cinnamon
- 2 x All Spice
- 1 TBL spoon dried Tarragon
- salt to taste
- 3 small garlic stock cubes
How to make creamy, sweet & spicy butternut soup:
- Place a large pot on medium heat and saute onions and garlic lightly for 3 minutes. (Don’t brown).
- Add stick cinnamon, All spice, dried chili flakes and sprig of thyme. Cook for a minute or two.
- Add butternut, potato and sweet potato chunks and coat the veg with the onion mixture.
- Add a liter of boiled water and garlic stock cubes. Put the lid on at a slight angle and cook until the vegetables are soft. (Around 20-30mins).
- Remove the pot from the stove, fish out (and discard) the all spice, cinnamon stick and thyme sprig.
- Using a stick blender, blits the soup until the mixture is creamy and lump-free.
- Place the pot back on the stove on a very low heat and add a little extra stock or boiling water until the soup reaches your desired viscosity.
- Add the honey, chives, tarragon and a generous pinch of freshly ground nutmeg. Simmer slowly for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Taste your soup again and add salt and additional honey or a pinch of brown sugar as required.
Serve the soup with a sprinkling of chopped chives, a dash of freshly ground black pepper and these yummeh homemade, crispy oven-baked tortilla chips.
Nom nom nom!