Leek and Butternut Squash Soup
Leek and Potato Soup is a number one classic in our house, but for something different try it with what I call the perennial pumpkin – butternut squash. In the autumn I make the same recipe with the traditional lantern pumpkin, but right now what’s on offer is a velvety smooth, peachy yet faintly green, very good soup indeed. Great for veggies, great for those trying to cut down on fat (aren’t we all?).
This recipe is from A Year in My Kitchen Serves 4
If you’re using the pristine-looking leeks from the supermarket, don’t be deceived: minute particles of sandy grit can lurk beneath the tightly clustered layers – so begin by trimming off the roots plus most of the very green part and the tough outer layers.
Then using a small sharp knife, slit the lengthways to about halfway down, then fan the layers out under a cold running tap to wash them. Then finish slicing them lengthways and slice them across into approx. 1 inch (2.5cm) slices.
Next chop the onion (same-size slices) followed by the squash into 1 inch (2.5cm) cubes. Now melt the butter in a large saucepan, add all the vegetables, stir them well and add some salt. Pop a lid on and, keeping the heat low, allow the vegetables to sweat and release some of their juices for 20 minutes.
After that add the stock and the milk and a little freshly milled pepper, then return the lid and, still keeping the heat low let the soup simmer very gently for another 20 minutes. When the time’s up, pour the whole lot into a liquidiser and whiz to a smooth puree (you may have to do this in two batches so have a bowl to hand).
Then return it to the pan, add the chives and re-heat gently without letting it boil – no more than a simmer.
Serve the soup in warmed bowls with some good bread, also served warm.