Butternut and Maple Syrup Soup
Roasting butternut in maple syrup and butter adds a wonderful caramel-like note to the butternut; not only does it make for a delicious soup, but it is also great in salads and as a savoury filling for pancakes. If I serve it in a salad or in a pancake I like to accompany it with a strong cheese – the added sweetness from the syrup and the nutty flavour from the butternut pairs wonderfully with strong cheese.
On the whole I like to use real maple syrup, however for this recipe I used Illovo Maple Syrup and it turned out just as nice.
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 medium to large-sized butternut, cubbed
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
3 tablespoons of butter, melted
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 large leek (or 5 baby leeks), chopped
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
125ml of cream
salt pepper, to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius
Place the chopped butternut and red onion in a roasting tray and drizzle over the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper and place in the pre-heated oven. After ten minutes of roasting, remove the butternut and pour over the maple syrup, stir to coat all the butternut and place back into the oven for a further ten minutes or until the butternut is tender.
Sweat the garlic, thyme, celery and leeks in some olive oil. Add the cooked butternut, red onions and any left over juices from the roasting pan. Add your stock and simmer for another ten minutes.
Blitz the soup with a hand mixer till smooth. Taste , and season if needed. Add the cream and cook for a further 5 minutes, taste and add seasoning if needed.