It's officially cold in Tipperary. It happened overnight – the blustery but mild weather we’d been having for the last week or so of October gave way to a bitter cold. I’ve been living in my slippers and piling on jumpers, but I can’t shake the chill.
Being Canadian, I am used to the cold. In the winter the temperature gets as low as -20°C. But our houses are warm. So are our boots and jackets. And it’s a dry cold, so it doesn’t get down into your bones the same way the damp, bitter Irish winds do. So, during Irish winter (which, I have to admit, is mercifully short compared to Canadian ones) I am one of those perpetually cold individuals.
I naturally gravitate to warming, spiced foods at this time of year. Curries, casseroles and stews are the dinners of choice, but they can be time consuming to prepare. This soup uses few ingredients and comes together really quickly. It’s great with a crisp, gooey cheese toastie, light salad or slice of quice and keeps in the fridge for up to four days.
I’ll make a pot and have it for a quick lunch during the work week. I love maple syrup and it works especially well with a mild curry spice blend, and, in this soup, adds to the natural sweetness of the squash.
Maple curry butternut squash soup
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 large onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp mild curry powder
1 chili, finely chopped (optional)
1l vegetable or chicken stock
1-2 tbsp maple syrup, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
90ml cream, creme fraiche or evaporated milk
Croutons, rapeseed oil, maple syrup, creme fraiche and coriander, for garnish.