Donna Hay’s creamy butternut soup

Donna Hay’s creamy butternut soup recipe uses cheeky shortcuts to whip up a tasty – not to mention healthy – bowl of goodness in a flash.

William Meppem and Chris Court

SERVES 4-6

1 x 1.5kg butternut squash, halved and seeds scooped out (no need to peel)
1 brown onion, halved (no need to peel)
2 cloves garlic (no need to peel)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
500ml chicken stock
250ml milk

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper.
2. Place the butternut and onion, cut-side up, on the prepared tray. Add the garlic, drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 60-70 minutes or until the onion is caramelised and the butternut is soft. Wearing oven gloves, carefully remove the tray from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
3. Using a large spoon, scoop the butternut flesh into a big saucepan. Remove the onion and garlic from their skins and add to the pan.
4. Add the stock and milk, and, using a hand-held stick blender (watch for splashes!), blend until smooth. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the soup to the boil. With a ladle, carefully divide the soup among bowls. If you like, serve with some natural yoghurt, snipped chives and parmesan toasts.

To make the parmesan toasts: Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper. Cut 1 half-baguette diagonally into 16 thin slices and place on the tray. Brush 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over the slices and sprinkle 20g finely grated parmesan on top. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until crisp and golden.

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Basics to Brilliance Kids by Donna Hay is published by Fourth Estate, price £20. To order a copy for £15 until 1 July, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.