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Budget Butternut soup

 In Soups

Continuing with the budget theme, I thought, nothing is cheaper and more comforting than a good soup. Especially if you cut out the cream and you chop the veg yourself. I have a weakness for the already cut butternut in shops but this adds to the price and it’s unnecessary. If you have a good sharp knife and a good peeler, you can do it in no time yourself.

Soup is also great because you can really use whatever you have in the house. Make a gorgeous and nutritious vegetable soup from left over carrots, celery, potatoes. tomatoes and a tin of beans. Add some chicken/beef if you have it. Add some noodles and soy sauce for a Thai spin. The possibilities are endless. If you really like adding a dash of cream to pureed soups but your budget doesn’t allow it, evaporated milk or full cream milk can also work. It won’t be AS decadent but it will just give that bit of lusciousness that’s sometimes needed.

The key to making a good soup, is to use a good stock. I’m the first to admit that I do use stock cubes every now and then because I just don’t have fresh stock in my freezer all the time. But if you are roasting a chicken, don’t throw the bones to the dog, boil them up with some carrots, onions, celery and bay, strain and freeze. Alternatively, you could use a better quality shop bought stock option like Nobu’s fabulous Stock Concentrate. But this is VERY expensive so not a budget friendly option.

To amp up the flavour without adding to the price, you could roast the butternut and sweet potato before adding it to the soup with a drizzle of syrup, honey or even just a scattering of sugar.

This works about to approximately R4.74 per portion, if you add no milk or cream, just stock. With added cream, it works out to R6.20 per portion. I think this is RIDICULOUSLY cheap. Once again, the oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper aren’t added to this price as these are ingredients most people have in their homes. Serve this with a delicious Home Baked Bread, some crispy rolls or even just bread and butter if you really can’t afford anything else.

Serves 4

1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
500g Butternut, peeled and diced
300g Sweet potato, peeled and diced
1.5l Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
125ml Cream
Salt & Pepper to taste

  • If roasting the veg before hand, preheat the oven to 200°C and combine the butternut, sweet potato, carrots and onion in a roasting tray. Drizzle with 2tbsn Syrup or honey or 3 tbsn Sugar and some oil. Roast for 30 minutes until cooked. Combine the cooked veg in a pot with the stock and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Puree the soup and add the cinnamon, cream (if using) and season to taste.
  • If you won’t be roasting the veg, heat a large pot and fry the onion and carrots in some oil until soft and golden. Add the butternut and sweet potato and fry for another 3 minutes. Add the stock and allow to cook for 30 minutes until all the veg is soft. Puree the soup, add the cinnamon, cream (if using) and season to taste.
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Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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