The spring has been just around the corner and I come with a winter flavored soup. The reason is quite simple: over the winter I haven't found any nice, and sweet butternut squashes not only on the markets but in supermarkets, either. I bought so many times and gave them a try but when I got home and baked their taste were just so simple and plain, that I didn't cook any nice soup with them for months.
But this week I found a really interesting squash in the supermarket came from Senegal (?). It was rewarded a special, tasty butternut squash with big, capital letters. Ok, I gave it a chance.
When I returned and halved it, the smell, color and taste was more than impressive! It seemed so fresh and firm as it had been harvested just a couple of hours before. It was simply perfect to cook a lovely, heart warming soup on the day when the winter has returned for a while. A real comfort food not just for vegetarians and vegans but for all of us on a meat-free-Monday.
1 butternut squash (middle sized)
half of leek
2 tbsp olive oil
1 apple (preferably Pink Lady)
half of orange zest and juice
1 can coconut milk
200-250 ml vegetable stock
toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Preheat oven to 180 C. Wash the squash, halve in length and discard the seeds. Line a baking tray with kitchen foil and place the squash halves cavity side up. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until soft and tender.
- Meanwhile slice finely the leek. Heat the oil in on low then add leek. Sautee for a few minutes. Peel the apple, core it and then dice it into 2 X2 cm cubes. Add to the leek and heat on low cover with a lid. Cook until gets tender.
- Remove the baked squash from the oven. Leave to cool completely then scoop out the flesh and put into a blender. Add the sauteed onion with apple, and give a blitz for 30-50 seconds until looks like a smooth and silky puree. Pour into a pan, add the coconut milk, stock, orange zest and juice and whisk with a wire whisk. Heat on low until starts to boil then simmer for 3-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm with pumpkin seeds and a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar.