Butternut squash and crab soup

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Put simply, this is a delicious, low-fat warming soup that will have you diving back into the pan for more.

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At the moment we have been slowly and happily working our way through the last of the butternut squashes we grew last autumn: and we never tire of eating them!

Butternut squash really is a gorgeous vegetable and is so versatile in the kitchen:

  • mashed (either by itself or perhaps half-and-half with potato)
  • roasted, perhaps rubbed with some spices
  • as a dip
  • in a curry
  • smothered in a silky cheese sauce and baked

The recipes for the two dishes in the photos above are:

A soup might not seem the sexiest of dishes but I always find so much comfort in bowl of soup – at any time of the year, too. Butternut squash lends itself particularly well for being made into a soup: it takes on other flavours well, while holding its own.

Here, I have paired the butternut squash with crabmeat (simply from a pot of brown and white meat: you can add more if you have more to add!). The combination is fabulous and takes what might be considered to be a modest butternut squash soup to another level with total ease – you just stir it in at the end, let it melt into it and serve. Gorgeous!

Recipe: butternut squash and crab soup – serves 4

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 1kg or so, unpeeled weight)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • about 200ml water
  • about 300ml semi-skimmed milk
  • salt and pepper
  • about 200g crabmeat (mixture of brown and white ideally)
  • chopped parsley or spring onion for garnish, optional

(1) Peel the butternut squash and cut it in half length-ways. Remove the seeds and cut into chunks (about an inch or so).

(2) Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook for a few minutes just to soften, although this soup works very well if you cook the onions until caramelised.

(3) Add the butternut squash and paprika and cook, stirring all the time, for a few more minutes: it is nice to get a little browning over the edges of the squash.

(4) Give a good grinding of salt and pepper, and add the water and milk. Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer and put the lid on. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the butternut squash is very soft.

NB: you can add more liquid (milk for a more luscious soup) if you prefer a runnier soup.

(5) Empty the contents of the pan into a blender and blitz until smooth: it might be easier doing this in stages.

(6) Pour the blended soup back into the pan. Just before you are ready to serve, warm up the soup (not to boiling), add the brown crab meat and stir it through the sauce so that it melts into it and adds a gorgeous richness: don’t let it boil or the crab will become very hard.

(7) Decant into bowls to serve, along with white crabmeat on top.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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