Last year when I announced I was giving up eating meat, my lovely friend, Mrs. D, for my birthday, sent me a beautiful book called Love Soup by Anna Thomas. Containing 160 vegetarian recipes, the title (rightly) suggests that the book is packed full of amazing recipes for soups – light and chilled summer soups, soups that are almost a meal and zingy, tasty soups that will warm your soul on a cold day. I was in dire need of the latter early this week as the cold that I had been fighting finally took hold. I hadn’t really much of an appetite but I knew that I needed to eat something. I wanted something warm that would stick to my ribs so to speak, but also that had a little kick to try to stave off the stuffiness I was feeling.
Enter stage right, Spicy Butternut Ginger Soup. Ticking all the boxes above just by reading the ingredient list I knew I was onto a winner. And happily, I had all the ingredients in the veg box.
Prepping this recipe is the hardest part. Peeling, scooping and chopping. But it is worth it. Believe me.
Firstly you will need to preheat your oven to about 200C.
900g Butternut squash – Peeled and chopped with Seeds removed. I had a large squash and used nearly all of it. I had about 1/5th of the flesh left.
450g yellow onions- chopped into large chunks
225g potatoes-scrubbed and chopped into 1 inch chunks.
1tbs olive oil
700ml vegetable broth
3tbsp finely chopped or grated fresh ginger
20g chopped coriander
2tsp rice vinegar (you could use white wine vinegar if you don’t have rice vinegar)
2Tbsp lemon juice*
1-2 tbsp honey *
*used for seasoning at the end, didn’t use either, and needed to add a little more salt as the squash can be quite sweet.
When you have carefully peeled and chopped the squash, potatoes and onions, place in a large bowl. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and toss until all coated. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and toss again. Place on a large baking tray or two medium ones and place in the oven.
Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the vegetables and reduce the heat to 175C and roast again for a further 20 minutes. At this stage the vegetables should be soft and browning on the sides.
Place the roasted vegetables into a large soup pot with 500ml water, and all of the vegetable broth. Add the fresh ginger, rice vinegar and coriander and simmer everything for about 30 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, or an upright blender, blitz the soup (in batches if needed) until smooth and then return to the pot. Add a little more vegetable broth or water if you think it is too thick. I found I added quite a bit of water towards the end.
Bring the soup back to a simmer and season with the lemon juice and honey if needed. Squashes will be quite sweet by their nature so taste before adding anything. I found I needed a little more salt and pepper as opposed to honey and lemon but tastes are individual so use your own palate for this one. I was keeping this soup for a few hours before serving so I also added a teaspoon of crushed chilli flakes to give it a little more of a kick. Just enough to warm it a little more and not enough to take over the heat from the ginger.
When you are ready to serve, dish up with a spoonful of creme fraiche and some fresh sprigs of coriander & warm brown bread straight from the oven. This soup will fill you up and warm you to the bones. Perfect for cool Autumn days.