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SQUASH SOUP (Perfect on a winters day)

 

  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • ½ – 1 fresh red chilli, to taste, deseeded and finely chopped
  • sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 kg butternut or other firm squash, halved, peeled, de-seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 litres organic chicken or vegetable stock
  • extra virgin olive oil

    Put a very large saucepan on a medium heat and pour in a couple of lugs of olive oil. Add the sage leaves and fry for around 30 seconds or until dark green and crisp. Quickly remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl lined with kitchen paper – you’ll use these for sprinkling over at the end. In the pan you’ll be left with a beautifully flavoured oil, so put it back on the heat and throw in your onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary leaves, chilli and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are sweet and soft. Add the squash and the stock to the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for around half an hour

  • When the squash is soft and cooked through, whiz the soup with a hand blender or pour it into a liquidizer and pulse until you have a smooth purée (but you can leave it slightly chunky if you like). Most importantly, remember to taste and season it until it’s perfect. Divide the soup between your bowls. Sprinkle with a few of your crispy sage leaves and drizzle with a swirl of good-quality extra virgin olive oil.

Recipe adapted from; http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/superb-squash-soup-with-the-best-parmesan-croutons