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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Pancetta & Thyme Recipe by Niamh Mannion

Butternut Squash Soup by Niamh Mannion

As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of nourishing soup to warm you up. I love butternut squash so use it regularly along with other vegetables in the soups that I make for my family but here I have decided to showcase its unique flavour without too many additions.

Roasting the butternut squash intensifies its flavour and in my opinion is really worth doing… Plus it gives you the opportunity to crisp up some pancetta at the same time which can be used as a garnish on the finished soup.  This is a lovely seasonal soup which is packed full of autumnal flavours and is incredibly easy to make.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
– 1 large butternut squash, cut into large chunks (no need to peel)2 cloves of garlic crushed
– A few sprigs of thyme
– 1tbsp olive oil
– A large knob of butter
– 6 slices of pancetta or smoky bacon
– Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to season

To finish
– 1tbsp olive oil
– 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and chopped
– 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
– 50ml double cream or crème fraiche
– Some fresh thyme leaves

Method:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1. Preheat the oven to Fan Oven to 180C/Fan Oven 160C/Gas Mark 4.
2. Place the butternut squash, garlic and thyme in a roasting tray. Drizzle over the olive oil and toss everything together. Pinch the butter into little pieces and dot over the butternut squash.
3. Drape the pancetta over the squash, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the pancetta is crispy and the squash has softened.
4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the pancetta to a plate and set aside.

To finish
1. Scoop the softened butternut squash from its skin, once it has cooled a little.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over a moderate heat and gently fry the onion until softened but not coloured.  Add the butternut squash to the saucepan with the onion and add the stock and bring up to the boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for ten minutes.
3. Purée the contents of the saucepan in an electric blender (do this is batches) and return to a clean saucepan. Heat the soup and add the cream and stir through. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
4. Serve the soup in bowls. Crumble the reserved pancetta and serve sprinkled on the soup along with some fresh thyme leaves if desired.

RECIPE BY NIAMH MANNION

niamh mannion bio pic

Niamh believes Ireland produces some of the best food in the world, and travels around the country; seeking out the best food producers, and places to eat.

An accomplished cook and baker, Niamh is also a previous MasterChef Ireland finalist. During the competition she had the opportunity to cook in some of Ireland’s top restaurants and experience life on the other side of the kitchen pass.

Working with TheTaste allows Niamh to write about her experiences and to share her passion for food and cooking with a wide audience.

Visit Niamh’s blog The Game Bird Food Chronicles.

NiamhMannion_

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