When I was a typical kid, I was a finicky eater especially when it came to vegetables. As far as I can remember the only veggies I ate were peas, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower and potatoes. Tiny onion pieces in meat dishes were painstakingly picked out and decorated the side of my plate meal after meal. My parents tried their best to ply me with all sorts but to no avail. Popeye could keep his spinach and the whole other lot too.
Strangely, once I listened to my father’s pleading to try some butternut. He mentioned it was sweet. Immediately my ears perked up. Sweet, you say? One mouthful of the stuff and I was sold forever. The South African way of preparing it is with generous lashings of butter, a tonne of sugar, a bit of salt and if you’re lucky some ground cinnamon. It all will be mashed to create a smooth, irresistibly sweet pile of goodness, more fit for a dessert than a side dish.
Shortly afterwards we went on holiday to Cape Town. For the first time ever I saw butternut soup on the menu. Living a bit more on the wild side than before I ordered it and have been hooked ever since. Now it’s your turn. 😉
Astonishingly, month after month, year after year this recipe has been consistently viewed more times than any other recipe on this site. The sad part was the original image, which has now been removed. Surely, the photo and recipe needed some sprucing up, and here it is – enjoy!
2 Ways to Cook Butternut
- Boiling: Peel the butternut, remove the seeds and chop it in chunks. Just follow the recipe as stated below.
- Roasting: This is my preferred method of cooking pumpkins. Halve the butternut, drizzle some oil on it, add some garlic and herbs, e.g. rosemary, if you fancy them, and place the dish in a 180°C(fan 160°C/355°F/gas 4) preheated oven. Roast for 45-50 minutes, or until the squash is tender and has turned golden-brown in places. The butternut’s flavour intensifies in the cooking process and becomes even sweeter. Peeling the skin off the flesh is now much easier too. After softening the onions in the pot, add the cooked butternut to it and don’t forget to add the roasted garlic too! Boil for only 10 minutes, then blend. Voila!
Simple Butternut Squash Soup & Special Diets
- Weight Watchers or other Low-Fat Diets: [Option 1] Leave out the butter and use low fat cooking spray to fry the onions with which would turn this dish into 0 ProPoints! [Option 2] Omit frying the onions separately and boil them with the butternut instead.
- Vegetarian: Use Knorr‘s vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
- Vegan: Leave out the butter and use more olive oil.
- Baby Food: Leave out the garlic, stock and salt. Use water to boil the vegetables instead.
Don’t Have Enough Butternut?
Use other root vegetables, e.g. carrots and parsnips, to make up for the weight specified in the recipe. This easy solution will introduce new, interesting flavours to the soup!
How To Jazz Up Your Simple Butternut Soup
Chances are you will like this soup so much that you’ll make it again and again. Why not play with one variation or another each time? Here are a few ideas:
- Rind of ½ a lemon
- Fresh ginger
- Fresh sage
- Curry paste
- Sherry: Add the sherry after frying the onions and before you add the butternut and stock.
- Coconut Milk: Add a bit less stock to the vegetables and add some coconut milk to them, then boil.
What To Add When Your Simple Butternut Squash Soup Is Ready
- Spring Onions
- Cilantro/Coriander leaves
- Greek Yogurt
- Blue Cheese
- Goat’s Cheese
Most people often don’t think about matching wine to soups as they find pairing liquid to liquid an odd concept. Think about it instead then as matching the wine to the components that make the soup and you’ll find it much easier.
Falanghina is a traditional southern Italian white grape variety that shows myriad flavours and aromas, especially when served lightly chilled rather than cold. There is a subtle sweetness on the palate that lends itself perfectly to vegetables, particularly sweet ones like squash, and the fresh citrus quality helps lift the flavours on the finish. Falanghina has a smooth texture and a delicate hint of spice running through the backbone so if you’re adding cinnamon or nutmeg to your soup it really brings it to the fore. Buy it here.
Equipment You Need For This Recipe
You’ll need a chopping board and the fact that it’s beautiful makes the cooking process so much more enjoyable. A decent sharp knife is a must when it comes to peeling a butternut squash. If you’re planning on having roast butternut soup a decent roasting pan is a good idea. Let’s not forget a good-sized pot to boil the soup in. Most importantly, we need a hand blender to create a silky smooth soup. Just click on the links to view further information about these specially selected products.
Simple Butternut Squash Soup
Author: Michelle Minnaar
The versatility of the humble butternut squash is amazing. Start out simple and later add your own original twists.
- 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
- 30g (1 oz) butter
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 900g (2 lbs) butternut, peeled and sliced
- 900ml (1½ pints) Knorr vegetable or chicken stock
- 30g (1 oz) chives, washed and roughly chopped
- Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic and gently sauté.
- When the onion has softened after about 5 minutes, add the butternut and stock and stir well. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes or until the butternut is soft.
- Blend the soup with a hand-held blender or in a food processor.
- Season to taste, serve in four bowls and sprinkle with the herbs.
- Your favourite type of bread, buttered, will go down a storm.
- If you’re vegan, omit the butter and add more oil to the recipe instead.
- If you’re on a low-fat diet, leave out the oil and butter and use low-fat cooking spray.
Cuisine South African
Serving Size 248.1g
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 9.5 g
Saturated Fat 4.3 g
Cholesterol 16 mg
Sodium 52 mg
Total Carbohydrates 29.7 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 2.5 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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