Giselle’s Butternut Squash Soup.


Ingredients:

About 1.5 kg cubed butternut squash.
1 large red onion chopped
3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
200g pack (or thereabouts) cubed pancetta (smoked is my pref)
handful sage leaves chopped
1 hot red chilli finely chopped
*Optional – Parmigiano rinds cut into chunks.
Chopped fresh parsley.
Grated Parmigiano or similar hard cheese.
Single cream to taste. (About 150 ml)
Chicken stock. (homemade or from a cube or 2 …) made with about 1.5 litres of water.
More water to taste.
Seasoning at end of cooking, if needed.

To decorate: Fried whole sage leaves, crispy pancetta slices, Parmigiano curls and dry-fried pine nuts.

Method:

Roast cubed squash in a little olive oil and sprinkle in rock salt. About 30 or 40 mins on 200°c.
Meanwhile prep the rest. Make chicken stock if doing from scratch. If not, a jug with the stock made from cubes.
Gently sauté the onion, garlic and a minute or two later, the pancetta until onion soft and the pancetta cooked through but not browned.
Add the roasted squash, and stir. Then add the sage, chilli, Parmigiano chunks and stock. Add more water if needed. Bring to boil,then turn down and simmer for about 20 minutes or so. 

If you want a smoother soup, remove the Parmigiano chunks and blend now. Then add chopped parsley.
Add the grated cheese and stir through until melted into the soup. 
Turn off heat and add the cream. Stir through.

In a frying pan, sauté the pine nuts, put to one side. 
Add a little olive oil and heat up. 
Add the sage leaves and fry them a little on each side until slightly browned. Remove. 
Add the pancetta slices and fry until just crispy – once out the pan put them on kitchen towel, they will become crisper as they cool. 
Break into smaller pieces. 

Arrange your decorations on your bowl of soup and serve! Crusty bread is almost essential for mopping this creamy, slightly spicy, slightly sweet, utterly tasty soup!

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