The Soup Season is back and I couldn’t be more excited!
Not a soup person by nature, I find little joy in regular veg soups or any other soups. Year after year, the only time I would get a soup was when I was sick and couldn’t eat anything else. I wouldn’t bother cooking it either – store-bought would do just fine.
However, this has changed once I discovered butternut squash and pumpkin soups. They just have this really cosy, irresistible autumn-y vibe about them! They are beyond comforting, very simple to make, and yet perceived as more sophisticated than your regular country veg soup.
So the recipe I am going to share today is one of those “sophisticated” soups that I got served at the last year’s corporate Christmas party at a highly praised restaurant. It was love at first spoon! In fact, I was so smitten that I couldn’t stop thinking about it and soon enough went to get a butternut squash and chilli infused olive oil just to recreate this taste, which I certainly did.
This soup is so warming, comforting and rich! It has sweet roasted butternut squash tones, mellowed by coconut milk and nicely spiced by chilli. In fact, it calls for both fresh chilli pepper and chilli infused olive oil. But if you don’t like spices that much, I suggest you only use one of the chillies – either a fresh one or the chilli oil. But chilli oil is definitely needed to add this “sophisticated” twist to the taste. For maximum sophistication, try using Chilli and Garlic infused olive oil.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup with Chilli Oil
[Vegan + Gluten Free]
- 1 Butternut Squash
- 1/2 Onion
- 1/2 inch Ginger
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 Fresh Chilli (optional: see note)
- 1 can full fat Coconut Milk
- White Pepper to taste
- Pinch of Cinnamon
- Sea Salt
- Freshly ground Black Pepper (optional)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups Vegetable Stock
- Olive Oil (for sautéing)
- Chilli/Chilli and Garlic Infused Olive Oil
Note: Use only fresh chilli or chilli infused oil if you can’t tolerate much spice. If you have to choose one, I recommend the infused oil.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Cut the butternut squash in half, remove the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, then place both halves on a tray lined with baking paper, flesh facing down. Roast for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, coarsely chop the onions, chilli, grate ginger and press garlic through the garlic press.
Once the butternut squash is ready, add olive oil to the pot – just enough for sautéing. Add onion, garlic, chilli and ginger. Sauté until golden and fragrant.
Scoop out the flesh of the roasted squash and add to the pot. Add ground white pepper, pinch of cinnamon and sea salt. Give it a good stir and take off the heat. Get ready to blend!
Add a can of coconut milk and vegetable stock, starting with 1 or 1 1/2 cups and adding more as required. The total amount of stock you need to use will depend on the size of the butternut squash and preferred thickness. Blend until smooth.
Once the soup is ready, add freshly grated black pepper and chilli infused olive oil. Swirl in another dash of there infused oil when serving. It goes well with crispy rye bread.