butternut soup

This is one of my favourite soups, two years ago at a International Food & Beverage Forum held in Vegas I was asked to do a soup course for a 100 people. I wanted to do something with a South African twist. Working in a strange kitchen away from my comfort zone, it must have taken me 6 hours to make. Needless to say I was little embarrassed that it took me that long.

Being the chef stuck with the soup course is always a challenge as the soup can not be seen as the inferior course or the course that is filling a spot. The soup must have layers, layers of flavour. Not just butternut and cream!  a bit of spice, bit stock, carrots and celery to give extra depth. The main element must have depth, so we roasted the butternut pieces with the skin, the flavour had to be intense and concentrated. Normal cream is not going to work, it has no flavour. Sour cream or creme fraiche is the answer it gives that extra little bit of depth.

The soup was good, very good. The soup course came after a very good foie grass terrine. This was is one night I would have settled just having the soup with some good home made bread.

INGREDIENTS

1.1kg butternut squash cut in to half in length then into thick slices
150g diced onions
100g diced carrots
curry leaf
60g celery diced
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cumin
10g cloves garlic (optional)
15g ginger
4g chillies
3 Tbsp. butter or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt plus more to taste
1.5 litres chicken or vegetable broth
150ml sour cream

optional add 60g celery

METHOD

Halve and seed, cut into thick slices.
Place seasoned butternut on a roasting tray
Roast for 30 minutes uncovered.
When a soft and caramelised remove, allow to cool and remove from skin. Set aside.
In large pot heat butter, add chopped onion.
Saute until soft.
Add garlic and ginger cook until a little fragrant add chili, carrots and celery
Continue to cook until soft.
Add squash stir then add stock.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook through, about 20 minutes.
Blend with a stick blender or put through thermomix.
Bring back to the boil and add curry leaf.
Add sour cream
Add chopped coriander
For croutes
Equal amounts left over roasted skin chopped with crushed toasted pumpkin seeds. Season and spread toasted brioche croutes.

Yoghurt with curry leaf
100ml Goats yoghurt thick
1tbsp chopped curry leaf

Garnish
Goats yoghurt, Fresh Coriander, Brioche croutes

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