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Butternut and sweet potato soup

Here's a new take on a traditional butternut soup. Adding crispy sage to this soup gives it a wonderfully flavourful crunch.



2 sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 butternut, seeded and cubed
1 tbsp of brown sugar
One 5mm-thick slice of pancetta, diced
1/2 white onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 teaspoon of finely chopped thyme
2 cups of chicken stock
10 sage leaves
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, and add the chopped sweet potato and cubed butternut. Generously drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the squash and sweet potato are soft. Once cool enough to handle, use a spoon and scoop out the flesh of the squash. Reserve the squash and sweet potato.

2. In a large stockpot on medium heat, add the diced pancetta. Cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add a little olive oil and add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped thyme and lightly season with salt and pepper. Add the butternut and sweet potato pieces and top with the chicken stock. Add cold water  until the butternut and sweet potato are just covered with liquid. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add a couple tablespoons of water if the soup is too thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

4. In a small saucepan, and a good drizzle of olive oil to fry the sage leaves. Place the leaves in the oil, and cook until the leaves are just crispy. Remove from the heat, place on paper towels to soak up excess fat, and serve on top of the soup, with a dollop of sour cream, yoghurt or ricotta.

Serves 8.


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