This soup is soooo easy to make and with such bold colour, classic flavour and silky texture, it really is autumn in a bowl!
To make this soup, just peel and roughly chop these 4 ingredients: squash, onion, garlic and sage, coat with oil and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Blend with veg stock until pureed, serve and garnish with a few fried crispy sage leaves – enjoy!
I used a quarter of a white boer squash, weighing in at 1.6 kg! After roughly peeling and scoping out the seeds I was left with around 1 kg. This is a perfect amount for feeding 4 people. White boer squash is one of my favourites. It’s sweet with herb and nut undertones but unfortunately it is hard to get. This one was grown on our allotment. However, any squash is great here: butternut, acorn, crown prince, etc.
Roasting and the Maillard reaction
Roasting squash brings out a more deep, savioury flavour. It’s due to chemical transformations of the proteins, sugars and carbohydrates caused by the ‘Maillard reaction’. For this reaction to begin, the temperature must be over 110 degrees C – so steaming and boiling will not acheive the same reactions as roasting or frying in oil. The result of the Maillard reaction is browning in colour and deeping flavours.
Aiding the Maillard reaction
- Try not to overcrowd the baking tray. Steam must be able to escape. If the squash ‘weeps’, the liquid around it will prevent browning.
- Turn half way through the cooking process. This enables steam to escape from the other side of the squash and more even browning.
Squash, sage and onion soup
- 1 kg squash, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 bunch sage
- 3 tbsp oil
- pinch salt and pepper
- 750 ml vegetable stock
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
- Reserve a few sage leaves for garnish. Place the squash, onion, garlic and the rest of the sage leaves onto a baking tray and coat with oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
- Let the squash and onion cool, prior to blending with 750 ml of stock.
- Fry the reserved sage leaves in a little oil and use a garnish to top the soup.