March 5th, 2009


Silky Butternut Squash and Parmesan Soup

The vibrant  bright yellow colour of this silky butternut squash and Parmesan soup is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face, especially on a cold and grey winters day.

It does remind me of the days when I worked in a restaurant. Staff lunch was far from a glamorous occasion. If you were lucky, a couple of yesterdays bread rolls with a bit of cheese would make it on to the menu along with the left over pumpkin and Parmesan soup from the day before. We made the soup fresh everyday so the staff were able to enjoy this fragrant and silky soup for lunch. I loved it then and I still love it today.

I have used butternut squash for this recipe, as we had just harvested our first crop. As novice gardeners we tried to grow a few vegetables. I had bought a butternut squash from the market and we planted the seeds and as if by magic they came up. We had some humongous butternut squash plants and they literally took over the garden. I was fortunate enough to harvest two as the rest fell victims to the very wet summer. I let the butternut squash ripen properly as I always believe that the natural sugars should develop. If it is not ripe it will not harbour the fragrance and magnificent aromas of the butternut squash and this is my secret to the success of this recipe.

Another one of my beliefs is that you do not need  hoards of ingredients in a recipe to achieve a tasty and deliciously fragrant result. If you follow the steps and tips outlined in  this recipe you will understand what I mean, simplicity is the key to success.

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 600g ripe butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
  • 1L white chicken stock or vegetable
  • sea salt and freshly grounded black pepper
  • 40g Parmesan Cheese

Cut the butternut squash in 2cm/ 20mm dice.

Heat a large saucepan and melt the butter. Add the diced butternut squash to the melted butter with a small amount of salt and  a grind of fresh black pepper.

It’s important to season the soup in stages. Let the butternut squash sweat, place the lid on the saucepan. Stir occasionally, do not let the butternut squash brown.

Cook until the butternut squash starts to turn transparent, this should take about 5 minutes. It’s important to do this stage correctly, as by sweating the squash the natural sugars come out and caramelise. This adds the body and rounded flavour to the soup.

If you skip this stage your soup will be flavourless and bland.

As soon as the butternut squash starts to colour add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the soup for 20 minutes.

Choose a piece of Parmesan cheese that looks unappetising to eat. I normally use the rind side of the cheese, which has a hard layer about 1cm thick .Remove the outside layer and chop the hard cheese in small pieces. Add this to the soup and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Blend the soup until very smooth. This stage is very important,so I use a Thermomix as it blends at high power and ensures a silky and creamy soup.

Pass the soup through a sieve, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed.

To serve bring the soup back to the boil and garnish with a few drops of pumpkin oil.

Serve with thin slivers of toasted bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped pumpkin seeds and finely grated parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Food Fanatics Tips
If the soup is a bit too thick you can add extra stock to let it down.

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8 Comments to “Silky Butternut Squash and Parmesan Soup”

  1. jools says:

    love this recipe, i have been making this soup for the past six months and never tire of it, tastes delicious, very cheap, quick and easy to make!!

  2. Lorna says:

    Hi Madalene, my mum planted some buttersquash seeds in July, which was really too late for them. Her plants bore lots of squashes but they were very small. We decided that they were not going to grow much bigger and harvested them two weeks ago. They were not as sweet as mature butter squashes but they were still lovely to eat as a stir-fried vegetable (cut into
    chunks first). By the way, thanks for letting me come to your Thermomix demonstration. I have been enjoying using it. Best regards Lorna

  3. Chanel11 says:

    I just made this and it was delicious! Best butternut squash soup I have had – so simple and with few ingredients, perfect.

  4. Rob says:

    Hello. I have a question regarding this recipe and Thermomix. Why do you not use the Thermomix for the whole of the cooking process ?
    Regards, Rob

  5. Madalene says:

    Dear Rob,
    Thank you for your comment on this recipe. Most of the readers ans users of the British Larder do not have a Thermomix, I have to try and cater for a wide audience hence not using the Thermomix for the entire cooking process. If you are familiar with cooking soups in the thermomix you can use it, it will be just as delicious.

    Happy Cooking

  6. Ben says:

    I know this recipe is a bit old but I’m curious about a few things and was wondring if you could answer a few questions?

    What is the importance if seasoning in stages rather than at the end if cooking?
    Why pass the soup? Could you leave it unpassed?

    Fantastic recipes as always!!


  7. Madalene says:

    Hi Ben,

    Thank you for your comments on this recipe.I season any soup in stages, as it is incredibly important for the flavour development and building depth and layers of flavour. If you season the soup at the end you get surface salt and a one-dimensional flavour. If you do the seasoning in stages you can control the amount you need easier.
    I pass the soup as it’s an old chefs habit and as I have added Parmesan this does not always dissolve entirely therefore passing, this is entirely optional and you do not need to pass the soup.

    Kind Regards

  8. Milomade says:

    Wow – how big are your squashes? surely you mean 2cm dice rather than 20cm! This is a fantastic recipe and quick to make – did it for lunch yesterday and it was delicious.

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