Saturday, September 22, 2012

Recipe: Butternut Soup

It might be headed for Spring but this morning I woke up to rain.  Our homeschool excursion was cancelled and the temperature was down to the teens again.  Not that I am complaining.  I love Cape Town, I love that no day is the same.  Every day I wake up to the sea painted a different colour and the artist in me just loves the unpredictability of it all. Isn't life exciting when you don't know what's the day holds?

Butternut soup is a firm favourite in this house. The mention of me making it for supper brings the kids running and whooping with joy!  Yes, my children whoop for joy over food.  They love it, they finish the whole pot every time I make it.  I can never make too much.  In fact if I made it for 3 days in a row, they would not complain as long as there were lots of yummy breads to go with it.

I started with a sink full of butternut - no that's not how many I use but I always wash my butternut after buying it, especially after we discover an overripe one has exploded all over all the others. OK moving on.
Instant Oxtail Soup. 

Then we get these beauties ready for the oven.  Big butternut for a big family.  Now the reason I am doing this in the oven is because it is so much easier.  I use to do it on the stove and would have to peel and de-seed it all first before I boiled the butternut.  This makes preparing the butternut easy peasy and I like easy peasy.
While I wait for the butternut, I take about 250ml of water and just mix in the instant soup and leave it to stand.  This way you don't get those nasty funny bits of concentrated soup in your soup because it hasn't dissolved properly.
Yeah baby, doesn't this look good.  OK so maybe they don't look beautiful but those of you who have smelt and tasted roasted butternut before will know how nice this is.  It might ooze a bit, don't worry you are not doing anything wrong, it's just those delicious juices - they sizzle, they pop - YUM!
Cook the butternut for about an hour..... or less...... or more.  Not quite sure.  You need to poke a sharp object into the butternut and see if they are all soft before taking them out.  If you have an oven like mine, you need to check them all because in our oven what happens in the back of the oven never quite happens in the front.  I could probably think of some life analogy at this point but it's now Saturday morning, I'm still in my puffy pink gown and only had one cup of coffee for the day - so I'll leave it up to you.

The best way to do this is to wait until they cool down, because the skin actually separates from the butternut flesh and then it really is a breeze. Once it's cooled down take the skin off and remove the seeds.
Put all that butternut into a big pot, I just love the colour of this vegetable. 
I missed a couple of steps here because I got so busy cooking that I forgot to take photographs.  Add your soup mixture and 250ml of cream to the butternut with 250ml of water.  Now this is where the fun comes in. Blend it until it is really smooth.  I didn't always own a blender and so if you don't, you can push it through a sieve which works as well but takes a longer.  Once its smooth, I normally add another 250ml to 500ml of water and then pop it onto the stove.  I heat it up until the soup has thickened.  How thick you like your butternut soup really depends on you. I wouldn't add too much water as it is inclined to taste watery if you do, rather use milk if you want it much thinner. Add salt, pepper and a dash of cinnamon which gives it a lovely flavour.  I leave it to simmer on the stove for about 10 to 15 minutes and then you're ready to go!

Of course some good crusty bread to go with the soup.
And with all the orange in the pot, a couple of beautiful flowers to go on the table is definitely fitting!
Dinner in our house is an event.  It's where all our big family discussions happen and the one time of the day that we all sit together and talk about the day.  It's about fellowship, friendship and fun times!(And a view of the washing)   Enjoy! 
Enjoy making this soup and if any of this is a bit vague or confusing, feel free to ask any questions in the comment sections below.

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