This delicious recipe is the perfect soup to eat throughout autumn and winter. It’s warming and packed full of vegetables and is such a treat when accompanied by 2-3 griddled scallops per person, served on top of the soup.
Butternut squash soup with griddled scallops
1 butternut squash (around 1.5kg) cut into 2.5cm pieces
2 large onions coarsely chopped
2 large potatoes cubed very small – do not use new potatoes as they do not fluff
2 tablespoons olive oil
30g butter (or olive oil if preferred)
15g coarsely chopped parsley
1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 litres of vegetable or chicken stock
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the butternut pieces in a baking dish, sprinkle over the olive oil and cook in oven 200oC/400oF until browned – about 45 minutes.
2. Fry the onions in the butter (or additional olive oil) until they are a golden brown.
3. Add the baked butternut, potato, stock, parsley, cinnamon and nutmeg and bring the mixture up to the boil.
4. Turn down and simmer until the potatoes are cooked and the butternut starts to break up.
5. Blend the soup until it is smooth and creamy.
6. Season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper.
For the scallops
Once the soup is made you can prepare the scallops.
Allow 2-3 scallops per person
1. Clean the scallops by removing any unsightly bits and cut in half. Wipe with a damp cloth rather than wash. Scallops must not be waterlogged before grilling or they will lose water whilst cooking and become tough. It is preferable to use fresh rather than frozen scallops if they are to be grilled.
2. Coat the scallops lightly with the olive oil.
3. Heat the griddle until it is really hot and a light haze rises from it.
4. Grill the scallops for a short time only, ensuring that they seal instantly thereby retaining their moisture. Turn and grill the second side. This will take only a minute or two depending on the thickness of the scallops. Grill only about six scallops at a time so that the heat of the pan is retained and the scallops do not become dry and tough.
5. Season after cooking with salt and pepper.
6. Put the soup into bowls and add 2-3 scallops to each bowl.