As mentioned in Day 87 of The Challenge
Butternut and chestnut seasons intersect! This was entirely experimental. I saw the title of this recipe elsewhere but didn't look at the recipe and then couldn't remember where I had seen it, so I made it up. I had no idea how this would turn out, but it was beautiful. The balance of sweet to acid with a little spice went very nicely.
1 butternut squash, halved and with the seeds scooped out
500g chestnuts, parboiled and peeled
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2-4 onions chopped
1 apple, chopped
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sumac
1/4 tsp cloves
1-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2-3 c chicken broth
1/3 -1/2 c cream
2 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted pumpkin seeds to top
1) Place butternut, chestnuts, apple in a heavy skillet or a roasting pan ( I used my cast iron skillet) and drizzle with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and the apple cider vinegar to achieve good coverage. Sprinkle the sumac, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and fenugreek seeds over it all and roast for 45 min-1 hour, until the butternut is tender.
2) Sauté onions in the remaining olive oil in the bottom of your soup pot until translucent and even a little charred. Add the contents of the skillet and mix it up ( the butternut should break up easily. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld.
3) Blitz until smooth, then taste test, adjusting any of the spicing or the vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste, and add cream to your taste too. I do recommend some, but how much you do is up to you. Serve and sprinkle with thyme and pumpkin seeds.
I absolutely loved this and I am so glad I tried it! The roasting at the start lengthened the cook time a little, but then pulling the soup bit together went really quickly, so it's six and two threes really compared to other souping. The truly lengthy bit is peeling the chestnuts if you use fresh ones, but then I find it quite zen to settle into a task like that. The other option is to use frozen ones that come pre-peeled. In any case, this soup hit all the right notes for me (and hubby and Little Bit) and I hope it does for you too.