Hacks

Three delish meals that start with a sachet of ready-made butternut soup

It's easy to 'soup' up this winter favourite with a couple of added ingredients, as well as to turn it into a creamy, cheesy sauce for pasta. Here's how

13 May 2020 - 13:06
Cheesy butternut pasta.
Cheesy butternut pasta.
Image: Sunday Times Food/Archive

CHEESY BUTTERNUT PASTA

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 x 500g packet diced butternut

300g ready-made fresh butternut soup

125ml (½ cup) fresh cream

125ml (½ cup) pecorino cheese, grated

5ml (1 tsp) ground nutmeg

500g penne pasta

Handful sunflower seeds, lightly toasted

Freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Cook the butternut in boiling water until tender and drain. Or roast in the oven, tossed in a little oil, till tender.
  2. Combine the soup, cream, pecorino and nutmeg in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, add the cooked butternut and heat through.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente and drain.
  4. Toss the pasta with the butternut sauce and sunflower seeds, season with pepper and serve immediately.
Thai butternut and prawn soup.
Thai butternut and prawn soup.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

THAI BUTTERNUT AND PRAWN SOUP

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

200ml coconut milk

15ml (1 tbsp) Thai red curry paste

1 stalk lemon grass, bruised

1 x 600g sachet ready-made fresh butternut soup

250g prawns, deveined and peeled

10ml (2 tsp) fish sauce

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Salt and black pepper

Fresh coriander, chopped, to serve

Method:

  1. Place the coconut milk and red curry paste in a large pan and stir over a medium heat until combined.
  2. Add the lemon grass and butternut soup, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the prawns, fish sauce, lime zest and juice and seasoning. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve garnished with coriander.
Two-tone butternut and sweet potato soup with paprika croutons.
Two-tone butternut and sweet potato soup with paprika croutons.
Image: Sunday Times Food/Archive

TWO-TONE BUTTERNUT AND SWEET POTATO SOUP WITH PAPRIKA CROUTONS

Serves: 6

Croutons:

15ml (1 tbsp) oil, plus extra for frying

5ml (1 tsp) paprika

Salt and pepper

2 thick slices white bread, crusts removed, cut into blocks

Soup:

1 x 600g sachet ready-made fresh butternut soup

1 x 600g sachet sweet-potato soup or pea soup (or any soup of thickish consistency)

Fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish

Method:

  1. For the croutons, mix the oil with the paprika and season. Toss the bread cubes gently in this mixture to coat well. Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the croutons on both sides until golden. Drain on paper towel.
  2. Heat the soups gently in separate pots or microwave in their bags.
  3. Warm 6 wide soup dishes. Take a small cup of each soup and, holding a cup in each hand, pour into opposite sides of the dishes so the soups don’t mix.
  4. Sprinkle parsley down the centre line and serve topped with croutons.