We’re going out to dinner tonight at a local Thai place with a couple I met on Twitter. She’s @spunfairyfloss. I love the name and it’s pretty obvious what they do for a living. They have been really friendly to me. They’re both food lovers who really enjoy Yummy Thai and John and I have never been there.
I love Thai food and I’ve been sitting here thinking, “how can I eat like Lorraine from NotQuiteNigella.com?” who despite being the size of a pixie orders one of everything. I’ll bring a camera but I don’t know what their rules are. If it’s okay I’ll share. I’ve never done a restaurant post. I’m such a blog virgin and with a name like mine I certainly can’t admit to being a virgin at anything!
Folks, I’ve been around for a long (long) time and I’ve eaten a shedload of butternut pumpkin/squash soup and this is my all-time favorite up til this moment. I asked for two butternut pumpkins when the mister went off to the supermarket thinking he’d get the small ones we always buy. No sir or ma’am, these were the size of volkswagens.
I cooked some as a vegetable with last night’s dinner and I still had some left so I made some pumpkin and cashew dip. I still haven’t made crackers but I did make garlic pita chips to eat the dip with. Crackers ARE coming. Working on my cracker bravery.
Guess what? I still had plenty of butternut left. As I was enjoying my dip I thought, wonder if this combination would work as a soup? You’ve got to try this. It’s delicious. Seriously. The only one who didn’t like it was the dog. He’s not fond of ginger but don’t let that stop you from trying this yourself. Finally, because I still had more butternut left, I roasted some with some heads of garlic to make pumpkin and roasted garlic risotto for tomorrow night’s dinner (and then I’ll make arancini out of the leftovers!).
I made the soup in my Thermomix but it would be just as simple to make it in a pot then puree it in a blender or use a wizzy stick. It took less than 30 minutes to make this soup. I had some frozen rolls and I took them out to thaw while I made the soup. I also chopped and roasted the butternut along with two heads of garlic for tomorrow night’s risotto. I got it all done at the same time so tomorrow night I just have to grate the cheese, cook the risotto and dinner’s done.
In a perfect world I would have used raw cashews but alas, all I had were roasted salted nuts. Not to worry, I tossed them into a strainer and rinsed them off. Nearly raw, okay not raw at all but they didn’t have any extra salt on them. Nothing is worse than making soup and finding it’s too salty. Then it’s back to the stove and the raw potato thing to pull out the salt. Better to get the seasoning right the first time.
I garnished the soup with a tiny bit of cream and a few slices of green onion tops but next time I would add a few roughly chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves as well.
If you like butternut and cashews, this is the soup for you. Now this is an off the cuff sort of recipe so feel free to make it yours by adding different spices or herbs. It won’t be the same soup but you will be happy.
- 800 grams (about 1½ pounds)
- ½ small onion chopped
- 1 cup cashews (if they're salted, wash the salt off)
- 2 cloves of garlic - chopped finely
- 2½ cm (1") piece of peeled fresh ginger chopped
- 750 ml (2⅓ cups) stock (vegetable or chicken - I used a combination of both)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- In a large pot, saute onion til it's translucent
- Add all the other ingredients to the pot and cook on medium high heat for 20 - 25 minutes until the butternut is tender.
- Check for seasoning and adjust to taste.
- Puree in batches in the blender or use a stick blender.
- Garnish and enjoy