Kicking off a regular new feature, seasonal recipes from some of the country’s most talented chefs, here’s a winter soup to make you feel all warm inside.
Kate Lawlor is owner and head chef at Fenn’s Quay, Cork, specialising in seasonal dishes with locally sourced ingredients. This butternut squash soup will feature in Fenn’s Quay’s Christmas menu for December. See www.facebook.com/fennsquay for more.
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large leek, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1.5 litres/2.5 pints chicken stock
Salt and pepper
50g/2oz butter & a dash of dash of olive oil
In a large saucepan, place the butter and olive oil over a gentle heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion, leek and garlic, and leave to sweat until soft (5-10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Then add your potato, butternut squash and carrot, and continue to stir. After a further 5 minutes, add your chicken stock and leave on a medium to low heat for roughly 30-45 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft.
Take your pan off the heat and blend your soup in a liquidiser. Then taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking.
When serving, a dollop of creme fraiche with chive or basil through it goes nicely, or you could simply pour in some cream.
To enhance the taste of your soup, you can add seasonings such as ground cumin or coriander, curry powder or chilli at the stage you add your butternut squash, but be careful not to add too much as they can drown out the other flavours of your soup.
The key to the choice here is in the title – ‘creamy’. Immediately it takes us to oaked Chardonnays or blends from the south of France, but equally you could go with a creamy, oaky red from the likes of Rioja.
Our choice is the Domaine de Pellehaut Ampelomeryx, a white blend from the Côtes de Gascogne in France. Rich and creamy, with ripe autumn fruit and dried stone-fruit, and layers of savoury spice that would accentuate the subtle, earthy flavours of the soup.