Silky Butternut Squash and Parmesan Soup
The vibrant bright yellow colour of this silky butternut squash and Parmesan soup is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face, especially on a cold and grey winters day.
It does remind me of the days when I worked in a restaurant. Staff lunch was far from a glamorous occasion. If you were lucky, a couple of yesterdays bread rolls with a bit of cheese would make it on to the menu along with the left over pumpkin and Parmesan soup from the day before. We made the soup fresh everyday so the staff were able to enjoy this fragrant and silky soup for lunch. I loved it then and I still love it today.
I have used butternut squash for this recipe, as we had just harvested our first crop. As novice gardeners we tried to grow a few vegetables. I had bought a butternut squash from the market and we planted the seeds and as if by magic they came up. We had some humongous butternut squash plants and they literally took over the garden. I was fortunate enough to harvest two as the rest fell victims to the very wet summer. I let the butternut squash ripen properly as I always believe that the natural sugars should develop. If it is not ripe it will not harbour the fragrance and magnificent aromas of the butternut squash and this is my secret to the success of this recipe.
Another one of my beliefs is that you do not need hoards of ingredients in a recipe to achieve a tasty and deliciously fragrant result. If you follow the steps and tips outlined in this recipe you will understand what I mean, simplicity is the key to success.
- 50g unsalted butter
- 600g ripe butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
- 1L white chicken stock or vegetable
- sea salt and freshly grounded black pepper
- 40g Parmesan Cheese
Cut the butternut squash in 2cm/ 20mm dice.
Heat a large saucepan and melt the butter. Add the diced butternut squash to the melted butter with a small amount of salt and a grind of fresh black pepper.
It’s important to season the soup in stages. Let the butternut squash sweat, place the lid on the saucepan. Stir occasionally, do not let the butternut squash brown.
Cook until the butternut squash starts to turn transparent, this should take about 5 minutes. It’s important to do this stage correctly, as by sweating the squash the natural sugars come out and caramelise. This adds the body and rounded flavour to the soup.
If you skip this stage your soup will be flavourless and bland.
As soon as the butternut squash starts to colour add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the soup for 20 minutes.
Choose a piece of Parmesan cheese that looks unappetising to eat. I normally use the rind side of the cheese, which has a hard layer about 1cm thick .Remove the outside layer and chop the hard cheese in small pieces. Add this to the soup and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Blend the soup until very smooth. This stage is very important,so I use a Thermomix as it blends at high power and ensures a silky and creamy soup.
Pass the soup through a sieve, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed.
To serve bring the soup back to the boil and garnish with a few drops of pumpkin oil.
Serve with thin slivers of toasted bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped pumpkin seeds and finely grated parmesan cheese.
Food Fanatics Tips
If the soup is a bit too thick you can add extra stock to let it down.