Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli Butter

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli Butter

This is an exclusive online recipe for theflavourbook.com

Don’t hold back on the butter here: it’s what pulls this simple soup out of the slump of austere midweek meals and catapults it into delicious, unapologetic extravagance. The nutmeg and chilli give a soothing, autumnal heat. Season with plenty of black pepper to give the soup an extra kick.

Serves 4

3 tablespoons salted butter
6 spring onions, finely sliced
Generous pinch ground nutmeg
Generous pinch dried chilli flakes
2 carrots, sliced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
1 large potato, scrubbed and roughly chopped
1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
Chunk of Parmesan rind, if you have it, or a tablespoon of grated parmesan.
1-1.25l chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

To finish:
2 tablespoons salted butter
Pinch of chilli flakes

Melt the butter in a large, heavy pan over a medium-low heat. Add the spring onions and leave to sizzle for 3-4 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the nutmeg and dried chilli and cook for a minute more, then add the prepared carrots, celery, potato and butternut squash. Add the Parmesan rind if you have any in the fridge, or throw in some grated Parmesan if not. Pour in the hot chicken stock and leave to simmer for 40-50 minutes, until the squash is perfectly tender.

Remove the chunk of Parmesan rind if you used it, then puree the soup using a stick blender. For a more velvety texture, blitz in batches in a food processor or smoothie maker. Add a little more stock if the soup is too thick, and season generously with salt and black pepper.

To finish, melt the remaining butter in a small pan until sizzling and beginning to smell nutty. Add the chilli and fry for half a minute or so. Divide the soup between four deep bowls, drizzle a little chilli butter over each and serve with thick slices of crusty bread.