- Food & Drink
Butternut and carrot soup
I have a longing for orange at the moment. I wander around shops scanning the shelves for orange napkins, table cloths, plates, curtains, glasses, anything really. I’ve had to ban myself from clothes shopping in case my wardrobe ends up tangoed. Luckily, there isn’t much in the way of tangerine household goods on sale at the moment, so I won’t have to live with a permanent reminder of this passing obsession forever.
But without any disposable consumer items to sate my hunger for orange, I’ve had to satisfy my cravings in a more literal way. I made a lurid orange soup. The carrot fairy has visited my fridge again, but my inexplicable antipathy towards carrots once I own them came into play, so I couldn’t just do a carrot soup. Instead, I paired them with butternut squash for maximum orangeness, and harissa for warming spice.
Butternut squash and carrot soup
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, roughly chopped,
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
700g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
300g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tsp harrisa plus extra to garnish
11/2 litres hot vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lemon
Plain yogurt and fresh parsley, chopped, to serve
1 Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-low heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the garlic and continue cooking, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the squash and carrots, then stir in 3 tsp harissa to coat everything.
2 Add the vegetable stock with a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender.
3 Remove from the heat and use a hand-held blender to blitz until the soup is as smooth as you like, or transfer to a blender and blend in batches until you get the texture you want. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4 Ladle into warm serving bowls and top with the yogurt, a little harissa and some chopped parsley. You can also freeze it in batches for when you need a little orange in your life.