I don’t make a lot of soup, but every time I do, I always end up thinking to myself I could really get into this. Warm, filling and satisfying, there isn’t much not to love. They always seem to bring out so much more vegetable flavour than you’d imagine, and once you have the technique its really easy to be creative.
This one is a classic autumnal soup that is really easy, but with a BBQ spin on it. Despite BBQ traditionally being more associated with summer, I actually think BBQing this amplifies the autumnal feeling and flavours. We aren’t going BBQ in the spicy/BBQ-rub sense, but with the deep wood-smoked flavours enhancing the savoury flavour of the squash. Doesn’t burning wood make you think of autumn? Bonfires on a cold, dark evening?
Why does it work?
Really, we are just relying on a classic flavour combination of butternut squash and sage, but enhancing the savoury, nutty flavour of the squash with a mild hit of wood-y smoke. Then throw in a slight hit of heat with some chilli and you have a satisfying bowl!
We add a touch of honey to add some sweetness, and the lemon juice to provide the acid to brighten the whole thing. I like a drizzle of hot sauce on mine to add another kick but that’s completely optional.
- 2-3 people
- 5 minutes
- 1.5 - 2hours (50 minutes if you cook the squash hot and fast rather than smoking it)
- 1 large butternut squash
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil plus more for roasting and sauteing
- 1 white onion
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 clove garlic
- a pinch of dried chipotle chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 125 ml vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- couple fresh sage leaves (optional)
- hot sauce (optional)
- Half the butternut squash length ways and scoop out the seeds, lightly rub with oil and season generously with salt and pepper
- Prepare the BBQ or grill for indirect smoking at 110C/225F - 135C/275F. Add some wood chunks of your preference, squash is quite a delicate taste so don't use something overpowering like hickory, something like apple wood or oak would work well.
- Place the butternut squash on the BBQ and cook until done, and a knife can pierce it with minimal resistance, probably 1.5 - 2 hours.
- OPTIONAL If you are shorter of time, or want to cook indoors, you can roast it traditionally in the oven - it won't get the deep smoked flavour, but will still taste prety delicious. Simply pop the prepped butternut squash on a rimmed baking tray in an oven at 200C/425F and roast for about 50 minutes (check its done the same way with a knife)
- Towards the end of cooking the squash, preper the base vegetables - chop the onion and celery and saute in olive oil until soft and fragrant. Don't worry if they brown a little, this will add to the taste. About 10 minutes.
- Add the chilli flakes, dried sage and chopped garlic and cook for a further minute or so and then remove from the heat
- Once the squash is done, carefully remove from the grill (or oven) and scoop the flesh of the squash out, discard the skins
- Put the squash and base onions into a blender along with the vegetable stock, cover and blend until smooth
- Once smooth, we will add the 4 tablespoons of olive oil and blend further until well emulsified and smooth.
- Drizzle in a teaspoon or so of honey, a teaspoon of lemon juice and blend again to combine
- If the soup is too thick, further loosen it with additional stock (or boiling water if you don't have more stock)
- Finish with a drizzle of your favourite hot sauce and a fresh sage leaf or two
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