Cumin Roasted Butternut Squash and Cracked Wheat Soup
Choosing the right butternut squash has always been an important and precise task for my mother. It has to be elongated with the smallest seed cavity as possible. She believes that the smaller the butternut squash the more tender the skin. I could never understand this ludicrous ritual of hers but now it all makes sense.
This Cumin Roasted Butternut Squash and Cracked Wheat Soup demonstrates my mother’s madness at it’s best.
The smaller the seed cavity the more tender the skin. Roasting the butternut in its skin will increase the yield, enhance the flavour and most importantly you will not throw the goodness into the compost heap. Like potatoes the natural goodness of a butternut squash is trapped in the skin.
By roasting the butternut squash, in its skin, will create a deep nutty flavour. Cumin compliments this nutty flavour and makes the soup rounded with an intense depth of flavour. The cracked wheat is an added bonus and makes this soup ideal for a light meal.
Keep the butternut squash seeds, sprinkle a bit of Ras-el-Hanout over the seeds spread them on a baking tray and toast them in the oven. They make a brilliant snack or salad topping.
PS* My mother is not mad just a wise lady whom I love dearly!
Ingredients & Method
- 400g butternut squash
- 4tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
- 800ml white chicken or vegetable stock
- 100g cracked wheat
- 2tbs chopped mixed herbs, (chives, mint and coriander)
- 1 lemon zest and juice
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Wash the butternut under cold running water; use a vegetable brush to scrub it well.
Cut the butternut in half, remove the seeds.
Cut the butternut squash flesh in 2cm pieces, place the butternut squash on the prepared tray add 2 table spoons of the olive oil, freshly ground cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast the butternut squash in the preheated oven for 40 minutes; stir it once during the cooking.
While the butternut squash is roasting bring the stock to the boil and cook the cracked wheat. Wash the cracked wheat a couple of times under cold water and drain in a colander. Place the washed cracked wheat in a medium size saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook the cracked wheat with out salt until tender. Once the cracked wheat is cooked add a teaspoon of salt, stir and then refresh the cracked wheat under cold running water. Drain the cracked wheat in a colander; add two tablespoons of olive oil, chopped mixed herbs, lemon zest and half the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix the cracked wheat and set aside until the soup is ready to be served.
Once the butternut is cooked reserve a few pieces to garnish the soup with and transfer the rest of the hot butternut to a blender.
Add the boiling hot stock to the roasted butternut squash, blend until smooth.
Add half of the lemon juice to the butternut squash soup and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Divide cracked wheat and roasted butternut squash between 6 warm serving bowls and spoon in the boiling hot soup and serve with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.