My Favourite Winter Soup
Ah, January. You have snuck up on us once again. Welcome to the month of paring back, grey-upon-greyer skies and our annual dose of some green concoction which, although good for you, you still detest. As if liquified celery, kale and beetroot sloshed together was not clue enough. January, where the dwindling, fanciful excesses of the silly season are met with a stern frown from your fragile bank balance and dusty gym kit. Throw in the mewl of Londoners freshly complaining just how awful their commute is, and the temptations to leave the haven of your bed are few and far between.
Fear not. As you survey the remnants of your fridge (ours currently holds three bottles of champagne and a wedge of stilton), and pen your “New Year-New You” shopping list, try adding this warming butternut soup to the week’s menu. And as the best month to start dieting is Neveruary, it is topped with a garnish, to use the term liberally, of toasted pine nuts, creamy blue cheese and grilled bacon lardons. Best served with a side of buttery garlic bread.
I’ve made this recipe many times over, and it will help you embrace January-ness in a cheerfully responsible manner.
I’d love to know what your favourite post-festive soups are.
Takes about an hour, happily serves four.
For the soup
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 white onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Half a red chilli, de-seeded and diced
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 white potato
- 1 sweet potato
- 3 cups of chicken stock
- 1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped chives or parsley
For the garnish
- A handful of pine nuts
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- A wedge of creamy blue cheese
1. Melt the butter in a large soup pan, adding in the diced onion and garlic to brown, followed by the chilli.
2. In the meantime, peel and cube the butternut squash and the two potatoes.
3. Add chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Add in the potatoes and squash, followed by the thyme.
4. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes, and then simmer for about 40 minutes, making sure all the ingredients have cooked through.
5. Make the garnish by toasting pine nuts first in a dry frying pan.
6. Remove from the pan, and add in the bacon on a high heat to cook.
7. Remove from the pan, and have both the pine nuts and bacon alongside some crumbled blue cheese ready for serving.
8. Once the ingredients have cooked through, take off the heat and blend with a handheld mixer or blender.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle chopped chives on top.
10. Add a the garnish of pine-nuts, bacon and blue cheese to suit.
With Love, Kate