Butternut Pumpkin Soup with Cheesy Croutons
For the Soup:
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
½ – 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded
and finely chopped (optional)
Salt & Pepper
2 kg butternut pumpkin halved, deseeded and cut into chunks
2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
For the croutons:
Extra virgin olive oil
16 slices of bread
(a dense bread or ciabatta is good)
A good-sized portion of cheese
Add a generous splash of olive oil to a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, rosemary leaves, chilli, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Now add the butternut pumpkin and stock, bring it to the boil and then simmer for around 30 minutes.
Once the pumpkin is soft, blend your soup with a stick mixer or blender until it is nice and smooth. Season to taste. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, you could add cooked pearl barley, pasta or a can of lentils.
Prepare your croutons before blending your soup, so you can serve them fresh out of the oven.
To make the croutons, drizzle the bread with olive oil and sprinkle a liberal helping of grated cheese on top. Place under a heated grill until the cheese is melted.
Pour into bowls and place a few of your cheesy croutons on top. Delicious!