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    Butternut Squash Soup, Beetroot Tarka, Crispy Sage and Cinnamon Crumble

    Budget-friendly butternut squash soup is the perfect starter for a plant-based festive dinner.
    Butternut Squash Soup, Beetroot Tarka, Crispy Sage and Cinnamon Crumble


    For the soup:

    • 2 tbsp oil
    • 2 onions, diced
    • Pinch of salt
    • 25g fresh ginger, grated
    • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
    • 1 tsp caraway seeds
    • 2 bags (1kg) frozen butternut squash, defrosted
    • 1-2 litres vegetable stock (1l will create a creamier soup)
    • 4 tbsp vegan creme fraiche, I'm using a plant-based version
    • For the crispy sage:
    • 2 tbsp butter
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 bunch sage
    • For the cinnamon crumble:
    • 500g bread, preferably stale or leftover
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp cinnamon
    • Pinch of salt
    • For the beetroot tarka:
    • 2 tbsp butter
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • 1 onion
    • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • ¼ tsp red chilli flakes
    • 1 tsp caraway seeds
    • 250g pre-cooked beetroots, diced
    • 1 lemon, zest only

    To serve:

    • A squeeze of lemon


    Make the soup base:

    To a large saucepan on a medium heat add 2 tbsp oil and once warm add the onions. Add a big pinch of salt and gently fry for 8-10 mins, until softened.

    Add the ginger, garlic, thyme and 1 tsp caraway seeds, stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the defrosted butternut squash and veg stock, stir to combine. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the creme fraiche and with a stick blender or blender, blitz until smooth.

    Make the crispy sage:

    Add 2 tbsp of butter to a frying pan and 2 tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat. Once melted, add the sage leaves and fry until crispy, about 2 minutes. Flip the leaves and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the leaves and place on a paper towel, set aside. Keep the leftover butter and oil for the cinnamon croutons.

    Make the cinnamon crumble:

    Blitz the bread into breadcrumbs. Add 2 tbsp oil to the frying pan over medium heat then add the breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp cinnamon and pinch of salt. Occasionally stirring, fry the breadcrumbs until fragrant and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and tip into a bowl to serve later.

    Make the beetroot tarka:

    Add 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil to the same frying pan over medium heat once warm, add 1 onion, garlic, 1 tbsp fresh ginger, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp caraway seeds, ¼ tsp red chilli flakes, fry for 2 minutes often stirring, Add the diced beetroot and lemon zest, stir to combine and fry for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

    To serve:

    Pour or ladle the butternut squash soup to a bowl with a light squeeze of lemon juice, add a spoonful of the beetroot tarka, a few crispy sage leaves and cinnamon crumble.



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