Butternut squash and roasted nut soup

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Blue bowl of butternut squash soup

It was after an XML Users Group meeting in Dublin that we went for dinner with some of the other speakers (Tim, Lauren, Seán, and a few more; I forget where) and they persuaded me to start my blog. This soup was on the menu and it was the first time I’d had it, so I had to do my Stepford Wife act and get the recipe.

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Serves 4. Prep time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes. This author has not been identified. If you believe you know who it is, please get in touch so that we can make the right credits.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 clove garlic [optional]
  • 2 oz chopped hazelnuts | roasted or grilled or dry-fried [actually any nut is fine]
  • 2 pt chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • ½ pt cream
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • of salt
  • of pepper

Method

  1. Cut the squash in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds, and nuke with the seed-cup uppermost in the microwave on max for 20 minutes, until soft all through. Don’t spill the oil that gathers in the seed-cup.

  2. Slice the onion very finely and fry gently in the butter in a big pot until soft. Add a finely-chopped clove of garlic if you like it. Don’t let them go too brown. (see tip)

  3. While this is all cooking, grill, roast, or dry-fry the hazelnuts. In a hot oven they should take about 10 minutes, but I find it easier to grill or dry fry them, but you must watch them and turn them every few seconds because at the slightest lapse of concentration they will blacken and scorch. If the phone or doorbell rings, ignore it: the nuts are more important.

  4. Add the hazelnuts to the onion, pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Turn it down to simmer gently.

  5. When the squash is done, carefully scrape out all the flesh and oil and add to the pot in chunks. Bring to the boil and cook gently for about 10 minutes to mix the flavours.

  6. Liquidise it all in a blender, return it to the pot, and stir in the cream. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to your taste.


Serve with hot bread. You can freeze and keep this soup, assuming there’s any left…


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