Served as a stylish starter or for lunch this the perfect autumn or winter warmer. The combination of smooth, sweet butternut squash in a classic soup base topped with the crispy sage and apple croutons garnish gives this comforting staple an original finish that’s visually pleasing as worthy of a dinner party.
Stored in a Pac ‘n Vac instant vacuum food container the soup itself will keep for several days (this helps develop an even more intense flavour, too). Or cool it and pop your Pac ‘n Vac container straight in the freezer. See our tips on using new Pac ‘n Vac instant vacuum food boxes to freeze soups.
Preparation time – 30 mins to 1 hour
Cooking time – approx. 40 mins.
For the soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 11 large onion, chopped
- 11 garlic clove, chopped
- 11 butternut squash, about 1 kg, peeled, deseeded and chopped
- 13 tbsp Madeira or dry sherry
- 1500 gluten-free vegetable stock, plus a little extra if necessary
- 11 tsp chopped sage, plus 20 small leaves, cleaned and dried
- 1Sunflower oil for frying
For the apple croutons
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 11 large eating apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 1A few pinches of golden caster sugar
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and fry for 5 mins. Add the garlic and butternut squash and cook for 5 mins more. Pour in the Madeira and stock, stir in the chopped sage, then cover and simmer for 20 mins until the squash is tender.
- Blitz with a hand blender or in a food processor until completely smooth. Allow to cool in the pan, then chill until ready to serve. Will keep for 2 days or freeze in batches in Pac n’ Vac food storage containers for up to 3 months.
- To make the crispy sage, heat some oil (a depth of about 2cm) in a small pan, then drop in the sage leaves until they are crisp – you will need to do this in batches. Drain on kitchen paper. Will keep for several hours.
- Just before serving, reheat the soup in a pan. The texture should be quite thick and velvety, but thin it with a little stock if it is too thick.
- For the apple croutons, heat the oil in a large pan, add the apple and fry until starting to soften. Sprinkle with the sugar and stir until lightly caramelised.
- To serve, ladle the soup into small bowls and top with the apple, sage and a grinding of black pepper.
Leftovers? Don’t throw it – stow it! With Pac ‘n Vac leftovers keep fresher and look good for longer. See our tips, dos and don’ts on storing leftover food.