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Image / Editorial

Kelis? Butternut Squash Soup

by Meg Walker
10th Sep 2015

Kelis? Butternut Squash Soup

I love this soup. It’s funny – for the Food Network cooking show, we’d bought tonnes of butternut squash to decorate the set and I thought, ?What feels like winter??. Winter vegetables and, of course, lots of pumpkins. Between the prop person and my mum being obsessed with white pumpkin – my mum was there too – we went to the store and cleaned them out; we got every pumpkin and squash they had. We put them all over the house and put bows on them. When the show was over, I had all this squash, and of course I had to cook it. After a couple weeks of squash this and squash that, my husband and my son were like, ?Please, no more!?. But there was more. I hate wasting food. We’re a member of a vegetable collective that delivers locally grown produce once a week. During the autumn and winter months, every single week, there’s another butternut squash in our package. This butternut squash soup was one of the last squash things I made before the season for them was over, and it was such a victory. Even though they were sick of squash, my husband and son both ate it: it was that good. I add cream to the soup, but it’s also delicious without it.

Makes about 3.8 litres; serves 8

2 butternut squash (about 1.8kg), peeled, seeds removed and cut into 4cm cubes
1 large Spanish onion, sliced
5 sprigs of fresh sage
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 dried bay leaves
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
? tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp sea salt, plus more to taste
75g demerara sugar
2 tsp curry powder (preferably hot curry powder)
300ml whipping cream (optional)
flaked almonds, lightly toasted, for garnish
currants or black raisins for garnish



  1. Combine squash, onion, sage, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 2.5-5cm and bring water to the boil over a high heat.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until squash is mushy.
  3. Turn off heat and use a stick blender to pur?e the soup.
  4. Add sugar and curry powder and stir until sugar dissolves.
  5. Stir in cream, if using. Season with more salt to taste. Serve warm, garnished with almonds and dried fruit.


Extracted from My Life on a Plate: Recipes from Around the World by Kelis (Kyle Books, approx €27.50, out now). Photograph by David Loftus.