This is another soup that uses up a selection of root vegetables and works well throughout the winter, and in the autumn, when the colours match the falling leaves. It takes about twenty-five minutes to prepare and another thirty to cook. I like to serve it drizzled with some cream and sprinkled with home-made croutons.
About 2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely sliced
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced
1 butternut squash
1.5 litres vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onions for about five minutes, followed by the celery and then the carrots and the sweet potato.
While these are cooking peel the butternut squash (I find a swivel headed vegetable peeler works best), scoop out the seeds and cut into even sized cubes.
Add them to the pan, leave all the vegetables to sweat over a low heat for about another five minutes and add the stock.
Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer for about thirty minutes, or until the sweet potato and carrots are soft and the squash is starting to break up.
Pour everything into a blender and purée until smooth, or you can blend in the saucepan using a stick blender.
While the soup is cooking, make the croutons if you are using them.
Pre-heat the oven to 200⁰/Gas 5. Take a few slices from a rustic loaf, a baguette or a ciabatta; the choice is yours.
Cut the bread into evenly sized smallish chunks and put into a freezer or sandwich bag with a generous drizzle of olive oil and shake until the bread is evenly coated.
You can even throw in some finely grated parmesan cheese for added flavour. Tip the bread onto a shallow baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Leave to cool and store any unused croutons in an airtight tin.