My freezer has been a little emptier of late so what better way to fill it up than with some yummy homemade soup. Butternut squash and sweet potato (kumara) are packed full of antioxidants which promote a healthy heart and are said to prevent cancers. Vitamin A and C are present which ensure healthy eyesight, growth, fight against infection and aid the absorption of iron in the body. Having once lived my life as a wannabe kiwi (I’m still a wannabe), kumara is the name for sweet potato in the Maori language in New Zealand. I first started cooking with it in NZ and I’m not sure if it’s my imagination but pre 2011/2012 I don’t remember any restaurant serving sweet potato fries on their menus, now they’re everywhere! That goes for the flat white coffee too, but that’s a different story! Kumara is a staple in the diet in NZ and pretty staple in my diet nowadays. In NZ there are 3 varieties available whereas we only seem to have access to one.
1 Butternut squash
4 Medium-sized sweet potatoes
2 onions red or white
1 red chilli
3 cloves of garlic
1 litre of chicken / vegetable stock
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp mixed spice
Handful of basil
1. Cut the top and the bottom off the squash then cut in half and quarter, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and keep for other dishes or discard if you wish. Roughly chop the squash.
2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, place the sweet potatoes and the squash in a roasting tray drizzled with the honey and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Set oven to 200c and roast for approx 40 mins until slightly caramelised.
3. Roughly dice the onions and finely chop the chilli and garlic cloves.
5. Add the potatoes and squash and blitz with a hand blender until smooth – you don’t want this looking like a purée so add extra water to thin out if need-be.
6. Finally add the cream and simmer the soup until hot and then you’re ready to serve with teared basil leaves as a garnish.