- 1 butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil, plus more for drizzling over the squash
- 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- pinch (1⁄4 teaspoon) chilli flakes (optional)
- 800ml vegetable stock
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons plant based crème fraîche (soured cream), plus more for serving (optional)
Roasting the butternut squash and the rosemary together first adds a luxurious aromatic twist to this delicious soup.
Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 4.
Slice the butternut squash in half, scoop out and discard the seeds and put both halves on a baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and lay the rosemary sprigs in the hollow of each half of squash. Bake for 45 minutes. Now allow the squash to cool slightly, discard the woody sprigs but keep the leaves from the rosemary, then peel off the outer skin of the squash and chop the flesh into cubes.
In a large saucepan sauté the onions, celery and carrot in the oil for about 5 minutes. Mix in the squash pieces and the pinch of chilli flakes, if using, and then pour in the vegetable stock. Allow this to simmer gently for 15 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper and a little sea salt to taste.
When the mixture has cooled slightly, ladle it into a blender (or use a handheld blender). Mix in the crème fraîche or soured cream and whizz until smooth, about 15 seconds.
Pour the soup back into the saucepan, heat through and serve topped with a dollop of crème fraîche or some Herby Croutons (see p.160).