samedi 15 novembre 2008

Butternut soup with toasted pumpkin seeds and sage butter

I bought a butternut at Tang Freres this week. Never having dealt with an entire butternut before - I used to have my dad do this kind of scary stuff - I was a little nervous. But I dispatched it pretty well after a few minutes of hacking and cursing. So now I had all the butternut I could want, and the next step was obvious: soup.

I decided to work off Pim's recipe for Potimarron soup with sage butter but as I don't have an oven, and as I hate washing up, I decided to see if I could do it in one pot. This is roughly how it happened and it served one (me).

Sautee about half a very little yellow onion until it has caramelized, then put it on a plate and set it aside. Then in the same saucepan, boil about a cup and a half of chopped butternut in just enough water to cover it. A little while later throw in about 3/4 of a cup of white beans (if you use canned you can just throw them in here, if you used dried you need to precook them like I do. Use dried! They're infinitely better.) Leave that to boil for about ten minutes, then mash it up and let it stand.

While it is standing, turn your attention to the sage butter. I didn't have sage leaves, so I just melted some butter with some dried sage in it in a little saucepan (thus ending the one-pot dream). This was delicious in the soup in the end, although I can't say whether it measures up to proper sage butter because I have never had it. I left the sage butter to the side and went back to the soup.

Add some milk until it is the thickness you want, then added the onion back in. Puree the whole thing with an immersion blender (or in a traditional blender if you swing that way). When it goes back on the heat, add a tablespoon of greek yoghurt or creme fraiche. Now it needs to be stirred constantly otherwise the bottom will burn. When it comes back to the boil, it's done. You can put on as much sage butter as you like, I used about a teaspoon for my single serving, as well as some toasted pumpkin seeds.

Toasted pumpkin seeds are very easy to do in a skillet or pan, since they announce when they are done by popping and cracking and generally being a nuisance. Then it's just a matter of throwing some fleur de sel or kosher salt on them and drizzling them with olive oil.

I think the caramelised onion goes so well with the butternut, and the sage butter is so much nicer than just adding sage right to the soup. This is really outstandingly delicious, and I had it with Poujauran's delicious sourdough bread.

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