Italian Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Zuppa italiana di zucca butternut arrostita
Adapted from a recipe in the book “Southern Italian Family Cooking” by Carmela Sophia Sereno.
“Autumn and winter offer lots of roots and squash which can be used in soup. This type of pumpkin soup is more likely to be served in the north and especially the northeast part of Italy, …..” Antonio Carluccio
A pumpkin is a type of squash. In this recipe I’m using butternut squash instead of pumpkin because I prefer the slightly sweeter flavour of the butternut flesh. John
Ingredients: Serves 4
- 2 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite size chunks
- 1 large red onion, chopped into small pieces
- 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 120 ml of semi-skimmed milk at room temperature
- 1½ litres of vegetable stock, homemade or made with 2 vegetarian gel tubs
- 3 tbsp of vegetarian ricotta cheese
- Fennel seeds, crushed
- Dried oregano, crushed
- Grated fresh sea salt and black peeper
- Olive oil for cooking
- 1 handful of pumpkin seeds
- Turn the oven on and set to gas mark 6, electric 200°C (Fan oven 180°C).
- Depending on the number of butternut squash chunks you have you’ll need two or three roasting pans. Pour some olive oil into the pans to cover the bottom and add a little salt into the roasting pans. Add the chunks, the onion and the unpeeled garlic (unpeeled because they will not burn in the hot oven). Add a little more salt, then pepper, fennel seeds and oregano and stir so that all the chunks have seeds and oil stuck to them.
- Put the pans into the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Take the pans out of the oven and test for tenderness with a fork. The chunks should be starting to soften so stir them thoroughly and return them to the oven. Continue cooking the chunks for a further 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and test for softness.
- Meanwhile, towards the end of the roasting time, if using vegetable gel pots put it into a large saucepan, add 1½ litres of boiling water. Return to the boil, stirring often, and lower to a simmer.
- Remove the garlic from the pans, cut open and remove the flesh. Return the garlic flesh to the butternut squash and mix well. Store the chunks in the pans in a warm oven.
- In batches, place the vegetables and their juices from the roasting dish into a blender and blitz for 30 seconds. Add a little stock as required if it is too thick. Blitz again for 30 seconds.
- Taste and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed.
- Pour the pureed soup through a fine sieve into a casserole bowl.
- Place the vegetarian ricotta cheese in a small bowl. Add the milk and stir it through thoroughly with a fork until there are no lumps. Pour the mixture into the casserole bowl and mix thoroughly with the soup. If required stir in 2 or 3 ladles of stock to thin it down.
- Put the casserole dish with its lid in the oven set at gas mark 4, electric 180°C (Fan oven 160°) and warm it through for about 10 minutes.
- Serve into warmed bowls and sprinkle some butternut squash seeds into the middle.
Tips and serving suggestions: The soup flavour will be enhanced if covered, kept overnight in a fridge and eaten warm the following day.
Produced by John Fletcher at http://www.johnstastesofitaly.com