Monday, August 22, 2011

On the menu today

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.

Very desirable. 

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.


  1. Nom nom, its going to be soup and stew season very soon.........oh wait, it never really left us lol.

  2. You can not imagine how thankful I am that you posted this recipe. I have more than 200 lbs of butternut squash sitting in my house and need all the new recipes I can if I am going to survive the winter without eating the same meal daily. I can't wait to try this as it sounds wonderful.xx

  3. Yummy yummy yummy! Now I just need to get some butternut squash.

    Chase is so similar to James! He goes back and forth between wanting to watch a cooking show and snuggle at night instead of a story. Right now we're on cooking programs (but then he does take himself to bed once done and reads a bit).

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  5. Had to repost for editing....

    Can't wait for hot soup season! This sounds delish! I'm with J, not much on the heat, but I can take lots of garlic. (And I live in the Southwest U.S where TexMex reigns.)

  6. Sounds decadent! We have some giant butternuts ripening on their vines in the garden now, so will have to try it soon (:

  7. I'm such a huge River Cottage fan! My Life Made Lovely is based on a HFW recipe too.

    Thankfully, the Asian Food Channel here in Singapore just started repeating the Autumn series, so although we won't get a lovely Scottish autumn this year, I don't feel like I'm entirely missing out.

  8. MMM yum that looks so delicious. I can almost taste it now!

  9. My husband glanced over at my screen while I was reading your blog today about the lovely soup and said "MMMMMM that looks yummy!" My thoughts exactly! How much PB is in a small jar--for those of us in the states where things might be different?

  10. Sounds like you've got a Hugh FW in the making there, Jacqui.

    I made some of that soup last year but included some 'Jack-be-Little' pumpkins I'd grown too for good measure.

    Probably the best, heartiest soup I've ever tasted...

  11. I'm a HUGE fan of peanut butter in soup!

  12. Mmmm will be making this soonb! :)

  13. Hi, havn't heard of peanut butter in soup before but sounds interesting,i like the idea of a little spice so going to give this one a try,thanks. Your summer is nearly over are you looking forward to Autumn? Keep Happy.x

  14. Oh, this looks good! I'm going to have to remember to find the recipe again when it finally cools down here to think of soup!

  15. I am so glad you all liked this recipe. Do try it - it really is lovely - let me know how you get on.
    Tracey -what a wonderful crop. I will certainly point out any good recipes i come across. Pumpkin, leek and sage risotto is our favourite.
    Valerie - lol - so true.
    LM - hello - thanks for visitng. I'm glad you are getting your HFW fix over there.
    RL - hehe - I do wish there was another way of editing comments. I often have to do that too! yes i have to say there are a lot of.
    lovely recipes I have to omit the heat from.
    Chris - he was always coming out with hfw wisdom :) it is a very very filling soup though - very yummmy.
    Emily - I am sure they would have a lot in common.
    Kerri - Thank you. I edited the post, but roughly 8oz.
    Andrea - I am still clinging on the these last days of August, but Autumn is creeping into my head a bit.

    Thank you all again - it was so nice reading all your comments. I have added the link to my recipe page on the top bar of the blog. xxx

  16. I haven't stopped thinking about this soup since I read your post yesterday...I will be trying it as soon as the first butternut is ready.

    Admittedly they are tiny at the moment, but I have faith!

  17. Oh my that sounds good! Filing this recipe away for fall/autumn!

  18. Wow, a very unexpected flavor for me, the 'peanut butter part'. And The Cuboid Police??? You are hillarious in this post. Delicious recipe looks like, and I thank you for posting it. I will , no... must... try this very soon.


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