A Hygge Butternut Soup

ingredientsWhen it comes to hygge I am off the charts and that was before it became a ‘thing’.  Here is a little  video explaining ‘hoo-guh’ and in a word it embodies coziness.  So it was no surprise to see a Butternut Soup Recipe in the “Art of Hygge” book.  Supping on a bowl of warming butternut soup on a cold day,with its slight sweetness balanced by a touch of curry feels like Oxytocin (bonding hormone) coursing through your veins thus the same as getting a 20 second hug.  You have heard when hugging you should hang on long for maximum effect right?

empty-pumpkinYou don’t need the cute munchkin pumpkin vessels but it adds to the coziness of the meal.  I suggest you cut off the caps, scoop out the pips and fill with boiling water.  In the spirit of zero waste, wash off the pips, pat dry and spread out on a baking sheet.  As you are going to ‘light the stove’ and you should have plenty of oven space I would say make the most of the heat and make yourself a little baked apple pud to finish of your hugge meal.  Place your hollowed out pumpkins, prepped pumpkin seeds and sliced apple (or 2) into a hot oven (180 ºC) .  Now with this baking you can turn your attention to soup making.  Keep your eye on the pips, shake them around if needed and take them out before they go dark brown (i.e. burnt).

Ingredients and method for a double serving of soup

  • Saute an onion in a tablespoon of coconut oil and then sprinkle in a heaped teaspoon or more of curry powder and fry to release the flavours;
  • I added a few whole cloves and a touch of coriander, which is optional but reminds me of South Africa;
  • Add half a diced butternut (scrub the squash and leave the skin on) and
  • A couple of carrots, scrubbed and diced (keeping skins on reduces food waste and maximises nutrient retention);
  • Let this sweat for a good 15 minutes in a cast iron pot.  Stirring every so often so it doesn’t scorch.
  • Then add a pint (about 600ml of water) of vegetable stock (see the instructions on the stock container).  In the absence of veggie stock use chicken stock but then it is not vegetarian, so be mindful of this if you are having veggie guests around for dinner.
  • Let this hard simmer for about 20 minutes.  Test by squishing the carrots and when they tender you are ready to blend.
  • If you have a electric stick blender, well done you but I simply mashed mine with a potatoe masher (minimalism smugness).  This is why there is no need to peel the butternut as you won’t even notice the skin.
  • If you doing pumpkin pots take these out the oven and carefully tip the water into the soup and scrape out the cooked pumpkin flesh, adding to the butternut soup.
  • Stir the soup, ladel into the ‘bowls’ and sprinkle roasted pumpkin seeds on top.

For the baked apple I sliced 1 apple into a bowl, with a handful full of raisons, 25ml hot water and bake till tender.  Spoon onto custard and sprinkle with cinnamon.

There is some serious hygge to be consumed in these two little dishes and for us epitomises the art of living well.

Vel bekomme! translated directly is’well become’ which is my wish to you.

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Life is so short and there is much to experience!

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