Around mid-2017 I decided to make my best butternut & sweet potato soup recipe and to add the flavourings that I really like with it. I luckily recorded this in my notes on my phone but never got around to blogging about it. I wanted my soup to be bright with a touch of heat and acidity because so many butternut soups are just flat and bland. The ginger and citrus give this soup a delicious wake-up call. I like there to be a hint of spice in the mix so I opted for cumin, turmeric and masala. I don’t need any heat as in chilli, but occasionally add a pinch of dried chilli flakes. If heat is important to you I would suggest adding it to your preference. This is my basic formula for my best butternut soup recipe and I have played around with variations. Last week when I made it again, I used celery instead of leeks and roasted the butternut & sweet potato before. I used small butternut as it was all I had so I added 3 carrots to the tray. It all turned out perfectly. I don’t think you need to worry too much about precision here.
*Cooks notes – If you want to roast the sweet potato and butternut before, and this does add depth, toss the vegetable lightly in olive oil, spread out onto a baking tray and season with salt & pepper. Roast in a pre-heated oven that has been preheated to 190C / F for 35 – 40 minutes and until they just start taking on some colour and are just cooked through. Alternatively, skip this step.
This soup will only be as nice with the orange variety of sweet potato and if you don’t have, just use one large butternut or 2 medium instead. Pumpkin would also work equally as well to replace the butternut.
To make this recipe vegan, use olive oil only and finish it off with coconut cream/milk instead of the cream.
I use around 1 litre to I litre and a cup (250ml) of stock depending on how thick I like it and how big my vegetables are.
Recipe makes one large pot of soup
- 1 medium butternut, peeled, deseeded and cut
- 1 large orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into similar sizes to the butternut
- 1 – 2 carrots chopped
- 1 large leek (or 2 celery stalks, or both), chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- Olive oil and a knob of butter
- A few sprigs parsley
- 2 – 3 bay leaves
- 1 large piece of ginger grated (about 6 cm)
- 2 small pieces turmeric grated, or 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 cloves garlic
- Small pinch chilli flakes (optional)
- Salt pepper
- 1 tsp masala/curry powder of your choice
- ½ tsp cumin
- Approx 1 litre – 1 litre plus 250ml of vegetable stock (I used 3 good stock cubes or 4 stock sachets to 1 litre/ 1.25 litres of water)
- Juice of 1 orange (or 2 clementines)
- Cream to finish
- Dukkha to sprinkle or other toasted seeds and nuts
If you are pre-roasting the butternut, sweet potato and carrots – see the cooks notes above this recipe and do this at the start.
In a large heavy-based pot add the olive oil and butter and sweat the onions/leeks/celery until soft. Put the lid on to generate some steam which helps the sweating. Once soft, add the bay leaves, parsley, garlic and spices and cook for a minute or two until fragrant and just starting to stick to the bottom of the pot.
If you are adding the roasted or uncooked vegetables do so now and immediately add the stock and orange juice. Cover and allow to simmer over a gentle heat for about 45 minutes. If the vegetables are uncooked, cook for about an hour. Take this off the heat, allow to cool slightly, or if you have a metal stick blender you can process this soup while it is still hot.
Remove the bay leaves and then process the soup with a handheld stick blender or in a liquidiser/food processor until smooth.
Serve with fresh cream/coconut cream and dukkha if you have. Chopped roasted nuts and seeds also work really nicely. A nice crusty loaf of bread is mandatory in my opinion too.
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