Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

One of the joys of cooking on a Rayburn is that you can have big pans of soup bubbling away gently all the way through Autumn and Winter.  One of my favourite Autumn soups is a spicy squash soup.  This one uses butternut squash but you could substitute any other squash to ring the changes.

I sometimes use curry spices (cumin, coriander, garam masala) but this time I have given it a moroccan slant and used Ras el Hanout.  Squash tends to be very sweet so spices add an extra dimension and lift.

It is not essential that you roast the squash first but it does add a lovely caramelised flavour.

Ingredients

1 Butternut Squash

1 Red Onion (chopped)

3 Cloves of Garlic (chopped)

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Ras el Hanout

1 PInt Water

1 tsp Bouillon Powder

Natural Yoghurt or Soured cream (optional)

Method

Peel and de-seed the squash and cut into chunks.  Toss the chunks in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place in a medium oven to roast for 30-40 minutes until soft and caramelised around the edges.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat.  Add the onion and cook gently until softened, add the garlic and cook for a minute or tw o more.  Add the Ras el Hanout and stir, cook gently for a further minute or two.

Add the water and bring to the boil, stir in the bouillon and add the squash to the pan.  Remove from the heat and blend.  I prefer to use a stick blender but you could also use a liquidiser.  This makes quite a thick soup – if you prefer it to be thinner just add more water and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Serve with a swirl of natural yoghurt or soured cream and a sprinkling of ras el hanout spice mix.

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