When it’s cold out, a good bowl of soup can be really satisfying. This one really hits the spot, and it’s so simple to make. The addition of ginger boosts the warming quotient, and the coriander adds a subtle spice without being overpowering.
I love this made with chicken stock, for a really rounded flavour, but vegetable stock works well too, to make this a vegetarian dish.
I originally came across a version of this recipe in a book called ‘Easy Entertaining’, but the original used allspice berries instead of ginger and coriander. I definitely prefer the ginger and ground coriander for the warmth and more subtle flavour; but if you’re making this at Christmas time, the allspice is a good seasonal variation.
I’m lazy, and think life’s too short to toast your own pine nuts, so I buy ready-toasted ones, but by all means toast your own if you have the time or inclination!
This works well with a scattering of fried bacon or pancetta as garnish, but again, only if you have the time or if you’re not vegetarian.
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash
1 large leek, cleaned and sliced
1 bay leaf
600ml chicken or vegetable stock
60g toasted pine nuts
2 cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Preheat the oven to 190°C / fan 170°C / 375°F / Gas 5.
Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Put the squash on a baking sheet, cut-side down, and roast in the preheated oven for around 45 minutes.
In the meantime, melt the butter in a large saucepan and soften the leeks over a medium heat. After 5-10 minutes, add the bay leaf, ginger and coriander to the pan, with a generous twist of ground black pepper and salt. Turn the heat to low, cover, and and fry gently for about 20 minutes until the leeks are soft.
When the butternut squash is tender, you can either peel the skin away, or turn the halves over and use a spoon to scoop the flesh out. Put the squash into the pan with the leeks, and add the stock.
Bring everything to the boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Then remove the bay leaf, add the toasted pine nuts and blend everything until really smooth, using a hand-blender (easier!) or food processor (a bit more of a faff!).
Serve with some warm crusty bread.
Let me know if you give this a try, especially if you discover any exciting variations to the recipe.