Butternut squash soup with nut butter
I have wanted to try this recipe for ages - ever since I saw the lovely Gill from River Cottage making it on one of the programmes. I do actually have every available River Cottage episode downloaded to my iplayer. For weeks on end, last Spring, James, for some inexplicable reason of his own, would eschew any bedtime stories in favour of watching Hugh. I was happy to go with that, I can tell you, so we would snuggle down, lights out, and feast on the varied delights that issued magically from that tiny screen. Then, suddenly, he moved on to reading about Lifeboats and Firemen and The Titanic. Hugh et al were cast aside without a raft. So it was with a sense of nostalgia today that I replayed (several times) the part of the Lunch episode from River Cottage Everyday, where the dashing RC chef creates this quick and easy lunchtime dish.
Except we had it for dinner. It was very filling, and we just picked at our chicken salad afterwards. Want to try it? Here's the recipe then.
Melt some butter and oil in a pan. Cut the squash into 1 inch diced cubes - notice that mine are not mathematically perfect, but the cuboid police were busy elsewhere, so I think I might have got away with it. Add to the pan with a finely chopped onion and cook slowly until the onion is translucent.
Add a garlic clove - or two, and about 3cm grated ginger. A pinch of dried chilli flakes or a small chopped chilli is suggested here, and I do think it would improve the soup further, so go ahead. Unfortunately J still finds even the merest background hint of heat TOO HOT, so we don't.
Now add a litre of your stock of choice and season to taste.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes. When the squash is very soft, blend it to a smooth consistency
Whisk a ladleful of the hot soup with the contents of small jar of peanut butter in a bowl, until well blended. I only had the crunchy stuff, but I would use smooth the next time (and there will be a next time).
Add peanut butter mixture to soup and reheat gently - check your seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Just before serving, add the juice of a lime and some chopped coriander. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of yogurt if desired.
quick edit - for U.S. readers. 227g is near enough 8 oz. I grew up in the imperial age, so am more comfortable with that system, but most UK recipes now use metric. 100g roughly equates to 4 oz.