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It seems to me the ever lengthening finger of winter is determined to hang in and because Clifton Kitchen is within a good spitting distance of the Atlantic sea, the chill in the air is seemingly a few degrees cooler than areas further up the mountain and therefor felt more keenly.

I need something warm and soothing on this evening’s menu. In the vegetable larder is a rather handsome looking butternut which should do quite nicely for what I have in mind; a gorgeous velvety smooth butternut soup – with just a hint of spice.

velvety smooth butternut soup

Velvety Smooth and Slightly Spiced Butternut Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

20 ml olive oil

500 g butternut roughly diced

1 large onion, roughly chopped

15 ml grated fresh ginger

1 medium sized chilli, chopped

5 ml salt

2 litres stock; vegetable or chicken

A small bunch of Fresh coriander stalks (save the leaves for the garnish)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Garnish

Croutons

Diced tomato

Fresh coriander leaves

Method

For the soup; heat the oil in a large pot, add the butternut and onion and sweat for about 5 minutes, taking care not to burn the onions. Add the remaining ingredients except the pepper, and gently bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until butternut is soft, about 20 minutes. Blend to a smooth puree. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

For the croutons you will need 4-6 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut into 1 cm cubes and 50 g butter. Melt the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the croutons until golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Serve the soup in bowls, top with a sprinkling of coriander, diced tomato and croutons

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