Roasted Butternut and Apple Soup

Roasted Butternut and Apple Soup

Serves 6-8


1 butternut squash (about 1.5kg / 3lb 5oz) peeled and halved and seeds set aside.

2 Braeburn apples (about 200g / 7oz) peeled and cored and cut into wedges.

3 tbsp olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

1 celery stick, diced

1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves

½ tsp ground cumin

Pinch ground allspice

1 litre / 1 ¾ pints chicken or vegetable stock

4 tbsp crème fraiche

Squash seed topping

Reserved squash seeds

1 tsp olive oil

¼ tsp cumin seeds

Pinch paprika

Cheesy croutons

2 thick slices crusty white bread, crusts cut off

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp thyme leaves

3 tbsp grated gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 220C / Fan 200C / Gas 7.  Chop the squash into chunks and scatter in a foil lined baking tray with the apple wedges.  Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, season and roast for 30 minutes, or until golden.

Meanwhile heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan and sauté the onions and celery for about 10 minutes until softened.  Add the thyme and spices and cook for 1 more minutes.  Tip the roasted squash and apple in, then add the stock and 500ml water.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, then leave to cool a little before blitzing with a stick blender.  Add the crème fraiche and season to taste.

For the toppings toss the squash seeds with the oil, cumin seeds, paprika and a pinch of salt, then scatter on a foil lined tray and roast for 5 minutes then set aside.  For the croutons cut of tear the bread into pieces, then toss with the oil, thyme, season and scatter on a foil lined tray and bake for 10 minutes, then scatter with cheese and bake for another 2 minutes.  Serve the soup scattered with the seeds and croutons.

To get ahead: The soup, seeds and croutons can all be made up to 2 days ahead.

To freeze: The soup can be frozen up to 1 month ahead.

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