Here’s an old favorite with a new twist. The mint and walnut salsa is a great addition and will take this humble soup to a new dimension, perfect in the cooler months.
For the Soup
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 kg (2.2 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
4 cups chicken stock or a good vegetable stock
Ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
For the Mint and Walnut Salsa
½ cup walnuts
½ cup blanched almonds
1 clove garlic finely chopped
½ cup mint leaves
1 cup arugula (rocket)
½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Verjuice / lemon juice
For the Soup
1. In a large saucepan over moderate heat, sweat the onion in the olive oil until translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
2. Add the squash and pour over the stock. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pumpkin has softened. Remove from heat and cool slightly before pureeing in a blender. The soup should be thick and velvety but not stodgy; you can add extra stock or water, if required.
3. Return to the heat and season with salt and pepper. To serve, ladle into warmed bowls or mugs and top with a little of the mint and walnut salsa and a little extra virgin olive oil.
For the Salsa
1. Roast both the walnuts and almonds in a moderate oven (170 C) until golden (approximately 12 minutes), be careful not to burn, this will give your salsa an acrid flavor. When cool chop nuts finely.
2. After making sure the mint, rocket and parsley have been removed of all stems and washed well, proceed to finely chop.
3. In a medium bowl add nuts, herbs, garlic along with enough olive oil to moisten and verjuice to balance. Add in a little salt and pepper to add vibrancy and lift flavors.