I made this soup for The Urban Farmhouse. I was inspired to pay homage to the humble Butternut and David who delivered my first batch of vegetables.
When I was growing up I had to eat everything on my plate, I would always eat the worst things first because I wanted to leave the table with a good taste in my mouth. I hated pumkin and Butternut and squash. The story went something like this -” there are millions of people starving in the world ” and I would mutter in my mind “well send them the butternut”. I would sit and squelch it through my teeth. I would find ways to hide it, once it even found its way into a pot plant that was hanging from the ceiling in a macrame basket. It was discovered weeks later by my Mom with different shades of green growing from it. If it wasn’t for the inexplicably repugnant odor, I might have gotten away with it. I vowed and declared I would never buy it, along with beetroot another of my banished felons.
I’ve subsequently grown up and learnt to respect vegetables for all the goodness they offer. Today as I was chopping into this particularly beautiful butternut, I picked up the scent of watermelons. Aaah haaaa I said in my mind, this is the winter watermelon. This is the winter cousin to the pink flesh of the watermelon. I wondered if I could rewind my life back a few years to when Sarah was sitting at the dinner table. I wondered if I told her this was the winter watermelon, would she enjoy it more. I doubt it. I think it’s a natural order for children to rebel against their parents and vegetables. It’s how parents teach children their first negotiating skills.
(Interesting fact I learnt after writing this – “infants have around 30 000 taste buds, only about a third of which survive into adulthood, their sensitivity towards extremes of bitter or sweet really IS heightened.” Ottolenghi Flavou
Butternut, Naartjie and Ginger Soup
- cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- fresh ginger
- I decided to oven toast the butternut at 200°C splashed in olive oil and salted for 40 min. Stir halfway Next fry an onion in olive oil until soft and translucent add 2 crushed cloves of garlic, 2 grated carrots and stir for 2 minutes. Add the butternut and reserve a few slices for garnish. Grate 2 tsp fresh ginger and chop 1 red chilli. Add 1 tsp of salt and 400ml chicken stock. I made fresh chicken stock yesterday so I used that. You can also use a sachet of stock if you don't have fresh stock available. Grate the zest of 1 naartjie. Now slice the ends of the naartjie off and set aside to use later for garnish. Squeeze all the juice of the naartjie into the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes. Use a stick blender and blitz until smooth. Add 250ml of cream and blend again. If the soup is too thick add some water or more chicken stock. Check the salt add another tsp. I added about 1/4 cup of olive oil and continue to blend until extra smooth and creamy. This really makes a difference and is definitely worth it for the flavor and smooth texture. Blend longer than you think is necessary, it gets creamier the longer you blend. Obviously this depends on the stick blender watts. In a small frying pan bloom some cumin seeds or fennel seeds until nutty and aromatic. Pour soup into warmed bowls add the extra butternut slices, and the naartjie along with some microgreens, the cumin seeds and drizzle with extra olive oil Enjoy Lovely to meet you David. You are welcome to share this recipe with all the butternut you sell