River Cottage Butternut and Nut Butter Soup
With permission from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls’s River Cottage Every Day. P.279
A delicious and warming soup selected by our speech and language therapist, Sue.
This might sound like too clever a joke by half, but it’s a really good soup. Peanut (or other nut) butter is a handy way to add richness and nuttiness to a soup. You can use smooth or crunchy peanut butter, depending on whether you want a silky soup or one with a slightly chunkier texture. To make it easier to whisk the peanut butter into the soup, warm it slightly first to soften it. You can do this by standing the jar in a bowl of hot water or leaving it in a warm place (I put it on top of my wood burning stove) for 10 minutes or so.
You can use other squash varieties too, or indeed a 50:50 mixture of sweet and regular potatoes, but then you wouldn’t have the joke. And let’s be fair, it’s a good one isn’t it?
1 butternut squash
A large knob unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 small medium-hot chilli deseeded and chopped or a pinch of dried chilli flakes
A 3cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 small garlic clove, chopped
About 1L chicken or vegetable stock
227g jar of crunchy or smooth peanut butter
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds or chopped toasted peanuts
a little finely chopped chilli
Halve and peel the squash, then
Scoop out the seeds and cut the flesh into 1cm cubes.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and sweat until soft and translucent.
Add the chilli, ginger and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the squash, a sprinkling of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.
Pour in the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently, partially covered, for about 20 minutes, until the squash is soft – you should be able to mash it easily against the side of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Blend until very smooth.
In a bowl, whisk the peanut butter with a ladleful of the hot soup until well blended. Return this mixture to the soup in the pan, stir well and heat through. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and coriander, then taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve each normal portion topped with a dollop of yogurt and a few coriander leaves. Sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds or peanuts and/or a little finely chopped chilli on top, if you like. Omit the garnish for modified diets.
River Cottage Every Day © 2009 by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.