Butternut Squash & Black Garlic Soup

A delicious rich tasting soup from Chef Kevin Ashton. 

Ingredients serves 4

1 kg butternut squash, peeled

1 (300g) tin of organic butter beans

1Tbsp olive oil

150 g finely diced onion

40 g butter

1 Heaped tbsp fresh chopped coriander

1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock

1 pinch of saffron (optional)

2 Rashers of smoked bacon (optional)

4 cloves black garlic (finely diced)

Crème Fraiche

  1. If you’re using saffron, put the strands in a teacup and barely cover with boiling water and leave to soak. Or better still if you have pestle and mortar crush the saffron threads to release their flavour and then cover with a little boiling water.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove and keep the seeds. Dice the squash into chunky pieces and place in a roasting tray.
  3. Rub the olive oil into the squash, season with salt & pepper then roast in a medium hot 190 C oven (gas mark 5) until lightly brown and very tender.
  4. Wash the fibre from the saved seeds and drain on paper towel.
  5. Season the seeds lightly and roast in the oven until lightly browned and crispy then allow to cool.
  6. Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook the onions on medium heat until they are tender, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the stock to the cooked onions, the (saffron & water) and allow to simmer on a low heat.
  8. Drain the butter beans and then pour them into the stock. Add the roasted squash to the stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  9. In the meantime cook off the smoked bacon and then cut the rashers into very thin strips and reserve.
  10. Puree the soup well in a food processor and then push it through a sturdy strainer to make the texture velvety smooth.
  11. Check the seasoning, then return to a low heat and add the coriander.

To Serve
Ladle in the hot soup into warm bowls, then sprinkle on the roasted seeds, some of the bacon, black garlic and  and finish with a dollop of Crème Fraiche.

Flavour Notes
The roasted butternut squash seeds taste very similar to sunflower or pumpkin seeds, adding a great crunchy topping to the soup. The smoked bacon and the black garlic add subtle counter points the the butternut squash.

© Kevin Ashton 2006-2016