I made this soup with ingredients I bought at a local organic farm. When my friends Maria and her husband Peter decided to move back to Cyprus from the US and start their organic farm, I was thrilled. I am 100% behind them. Good for them. Cyprus needs this kind of vision and sustainable ventures. And I am wishing them every success. You can follow them along on their facebook page here. They are currently selling some wonderful produce, but what I fell in love with this week were the kale and carrots I spotted, as well as Maria’s beautiful wild flower bouquets she prepared so effortlessly. I brought my carrots and kale home and spent the first day photographing them. Then the next day, I made a lovely butternut squash, carrot and tart apple soup complete with halloumi and chive as garnish. The soup is in my opinion great. Creamy, flavourful and super easy to make. It would be hard for anyone to dislike it – unless they have a certain aversion to soups or squash! It makes for a great lunch with some toasted bread. I am looking forward to watching Maria & Peter grow their farm. I hope I will have more wonderful recipes to share using their delicious produce in future. And I really hope that anyone reading will pay them a visit too.
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small celery rib, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 clove of garlic
2 tbs butter
1 very small butternut squash, peeled and chopped, seeds discarded
1/3 of a tart green apple, peeled, cored, chopped (squash and apple ratio should be 3:1)
3 cups chicken stock
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
salt & pepper
fried cubed halloumi & freshly chopped chives as garnish
1. Chop the butternut squash into large pieces, place on a baking sheet and roast the same for 15 minutes at 175C until the squash becomes a little soft. When roasting, place the pieces on their side – flesh side down – drizzle with a little olive oil and season to taste with salt & pepper. Remove and let cool. Once cool, remove any seeds and the tough outer skin and chop into small pieces.
2. In a medium sized pot, add the butter on medium-high heat. Once the butter begins to crackle, add the onions, garlic, celery and carrot. Stir fry for about 5 minutes until the vegetables turn translucent and become soft – turning down the heat if the vegetables begin to burn.
3. Add the squash, apple, ginger and chicken stock to the pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the flavours come out and the squash and carrot become soft. Add the nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Let cool a bit, then add soup to your blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with fried halloumi cubes and freshly chopped chives.