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Autumn is well and truly here. It’s been rainy. Very rainy. Now, I’m not a huge ‘I hate rain’ person because I tend to just get on with it, usually without an umbrella because, well, am I the only person to find them annoying to carry about? And am I the only person that can’t seem to use the damn things because the wind likes to tip them inside out, pretty much every single time? So I give up. But my coat does have a hood. The cold? I don’t mind that so much. The beautiful leaves and colours? That I definitely love.

This soup is terrific for coming in from the cold, as a mid-week lunch or dinner. You can make a big batch at the weekend and freeze them into portions to eat when needed. Lastly, this soup is perfect as a starter for Thanksgiving dinner.

Butternut Squash, Chestnut Mushroom & Thyme Soup

Serves 4-6 as a main meal and about 8-10 as a starer. Feel free to halve the recipe if you don’t want a huge batch of soup.

You will need:

  • 2 medium-sized butternut squashes, cut into large chunks (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 6 stems of thyme, leaves removed from the stems
  • 400g (2 boxes) of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes (or fresh stock if available)
  • 1.5 litres water
  • 150ml single cream or a vegan alternative (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven at 200°C. Lay your butternut squash chunks on a large baking tray along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, paprika, 3/4 of the thyme and chilli flakes. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes until they are soft but still hold their structure. Once slightly cooled it is easier to peel off the skin at this stage, however, I have made this without peeling the skin and you don’t notice any difference in texture once everything is blended together. P1000490
  2. In a large pot over a medium heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil followed by the onions and garlic. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Be careful not to burn the garlic – if they are starting to brown then reduce the heat slightly.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until soft and slightly browned. Add your roasted butternut squash. P1000497
  4. Meanwhile, boil your kettle and make your stock in a large measuring jug or bowl. Add the stock to the pot and simmer everything together for a few minutes.
  5. At this point, I added extra paprika, chilli, thyme, salt and pepper. Take your hand-held mixer and blitz the mixture until blended without any lumps. If using a stand-alone blender then do this is small batches to avoid over filling your machine.
  6. Taste for seasoning and add as desired. If serving immediately, stir in the cream and enjoy. If freezing into portions I would do this before adding the cream. Of course, the cream is entirely optional but it does give the soup a lovely rich flavour.

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I hope you all enjoy this recipe – it has become a much-loved staple in my house since Thanksgiving last year when I created it. Let me know if you give this a try!

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