It’s time to give your soup options a boost of colour and flavour. With a bit of thought, a splash of creativity and a bunch of flavoursome ingredients, soup can be a mouth-watering start to any meal.
James Martin’s creamy yet zesty butternut squash and lime soup will add colour and flavour to any meal, or can be enjoyed as a light evening snack.
Ingredients Serves 6-8
1 butternut squash weighing about 1kg
2 tablespoons of clear honey
Extra virgin olive oil
1 chopped white onion
2 chopped garlic cloves
150ml (5fl oz) white wine
500ml (18fl oz) chicken stock
Roughly 25g pine nuts
150ml (5fl oz) double cream
Finely grated zest and juice of 3 limes
50ml (2fl oz) crème fraiche
Ingredients for the Herb Oil
10g (1/4 oz) fresh basil
20g (3/4 oz) fresh chervil75ml (2 and a half fl oz) virgin olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6 and de-seed the butternut squash before removing the peel and chopping into chunks. Add the honey and a little bit of virgin olive oil to these and place in the oven to roast for 30-40 mins.
Whilst these are cooking, fry the chopped garlic and onions with a little olive oil before adding the wine and stock. When all of this is in the pan, fry for 3-4 mins until onions are soft and the flavours have marinated.
Add the pine nuts to a pan with a little olive oil and sauté until slightly brown. Put the nuts and the onion stock to one side and chop the basil and chervil. Add these to a blender with a bit of olive oil and mix until a fine puree. Add seasoning if you wish (a little bit of black pepper works well).
Then the butternut squash is soft and well cooked, remove from the oven and place into a blender. Add the onion stock, double cream, lime juice and lime zest and blend together.
Return to the pan to simmer before serving. This is where you can add your pureed herb oil, pine nuts and crème fraiche to create a delicious soup, easy on the eye and the stomach.