Creamy Butternut and Carrot Soup

Nicolette van Niekerk
Now what is better to have on a very cold, rainy and chilly winters day here in Cape Town than a good old fashioned butternut soup? Ah…Nothing beats a warm, creamy, hearty yet spicy soup made with some basil and salty crostini [small toasted bread, usually made from white bread] to accompany it. Make the soup with only the Butternut or alternatively add a few carrots to increase the yield of the soup, yet, it keeps the same yellow/orange colour. Carrots are not only high in vitamins but also a good source of fiber. Although I am a little biased towards my butternut soup, I promise to add some other beautiful flavoured soups to the blog one day… one day… Untitled-1     Creamy Butternut and Carrot Soup  – Recipe by Nicolette van Niekerk Preparation time: 30 minutes https://foodacademy.capetownCooking time: 30 minutes Yield: 1 Litre of soup   Ingredients: 50ml Olive oil 1 Medium Onion, finely diced 10ml Crushed Garlic 15ml Freshly grated ginger 4 Basil leaves, finely chopped 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped 3 ml Paprika 3 ml Fresh Chilli, finely chopped 1.5kg / 1 Large Butternut, peeled and diced 250g / 4 Medium Carrots, peeled and diced 1 L Vegetable stock 125ml Fresh Cream 3 ml Salt 3ml Freshly ground black pepper Crème fraîche for garnish* Worcestershire sauce for garnish 1 Ciabatta bread, sliced (A drizzle of olive oil, course sea salt and dried basil for seasoning)*   Method: 1. In a saucepan and on high heat, pour in the olive oil, add the onions, garlic and ginger and sauté them for two minutes. Add the basil, thyme, paprika and chilli and let it all simmer until the onions are soft and translucent in colour. 2.  Turn the heat to medium and add the diced butternut and carrots and give them a quick stir in the onion and olive oil. 3. Add the vegetable stock to the vegetables and let it cook for 15 minutes. 4. Turn the stove to a lower heat and add the fresh cream. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through. 5. Start to prepare the crostini about ten minutes before the soup is done. Slice the bread in thin slices, drizzle a little bit of olive oil over them, grind course sea salt and season the bread  then with the salt and dried basil. 6. Turn on the oven to grill and place the bread on an oven tray in the oven for about 5 minutes or until toasted (straw-like colour is perfect). 7. Season the soup with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Remove the soup from the stove, test the vegetables to ensure it is thoroughly cooked through. 8. Blend the soup to a smooth consistency in a food processor. 9. Serve the soup in a bowl, add a dollop of Crème fraîche to the soup but do not stir. Drizzle a small amount of Worcestershire sauce over the soup. 10. Plate the soup with warm crostini bread.   * Substitute Crème fraîche with Greek Yogurt  and the Ciabatta bread with Rye or whole wheat bread for a healthier option.