Butternut For Me

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They’re making soup for lunch, butternut for me…

Butternut For Me - a gorgeous butternut squash soup recipe inspired by the song "But Not For Me"

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But Not For Me
, the classic melancholic jazz standard by George and Ira Gershwin has featured in three Broadway musicals over the years, having been originally written for their 1930 hit Girl Crazy (and performed by Ginger Rogers on stage and Judy Garland in the 1943 film – one of three film adaptations!) There are numerous famous versions including Ella Fitzgerald‘s Grammy-winning recording, Harry Connick Jr (When Harry Met Sally), Elton John (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and, definitively, Carol Burnett on The Muppet Show.  

Although Girl Crazy contains many of the Gershwins’ greatest hits, it’s plot (in particular, the  dubious racial stereotyping) was deemed unsuitable for a modern revival and the show was reworked (along with a few extra Gershwin favourites) as Crazy For You in 1992, starring Jodi Benson (AKA Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid) and winning Best Musical at the 1992 Tony awards (as did the West End production at the 1993 Oliviers). A Regents Park / West End revival ran 2011-2012 around the time that, meanwhile, on Broadway, another “new” Gershwin musical was opening: Nice Work If You Can Get It which incorporated Gershwin songs from various sources (including But Not For Me) and plot elements by P G Wodehouse (of Jeeves fame) but never found the success of its predecessors.

Butternut For Me is a delightful name for a soup… but here at Life Is A Cabernet, we like to wring out every last shred of punnage out of a recipe opportunity and so have included a Nut Butter Pesto Cream to accompany the Roast Butternut Squash Soup.

Butternut, Nut butter.

Nut butter, Butternut.

Let’s call the whole thing off!

Sorry… wrong song! Anyway…

Scoop out the seeds from a squatternut bosh (c’mon, I can’t be the only one who still thinks of this episode of Friends every time they come across a butternut squash?!). Place cut-side down on a greased baking tray with a garlic clove in each cavity and roast for 40-60 minutes at 180C (you can either peel the squash first, or roast with skin on and scoop out the flesh later on – doesn’t make much difference).

Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop two onions and fry in coconut oil (or other fat of your choice!). Peel and roughly chop the carrots, add to the onions along with stock (I use chicken stock but vegetable is fine – and from whichever source you prefer, we won’t judge!). When the carrots are just slightly underdone, switch off the heat, add the cooked squash.

Transfer to a blender and blend in batches to a suitably smooth consistency. If too thick, add a little more water or stock. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For the nut butter pesto cream, add fresh basil leaves, cashew nut butter, creme fraiche, good flavoursome oil (I used hazelnut for an extra nutty flavour, extra virgin olive oil would be good – or how about some basil oil?), water, salt and pepper to a small blender, and blend to a smooth creamy consistency (double cream without the additional water would work fine). You want it to be able to mix into the soup easily.

Serve the soup with a spoonful of the pesto cream swirled in, alongside crusty bread and salted butter.

Butternut For Me - a gorgeous butternut squash soup recipe inspired by the song "But Not For Me"

Notes: some people will find it an unnecessary extra step, but I find that peeling the carrots does give a better flavour. Likewise, avoid overcooking them as that affects the flavour and the colour. If you can be bothered (or if it’s for guests) sieving the soup does make a difference appearance-wise, but it’s fine without.

Serves 4-6

Butternut For Me
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Ingredients

    for the soup
  • 1 butternut squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 500g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1L stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • for the nut butter pesto cream
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 2 tsp of cashew nut butter
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • ½ tbsp of a good flavoursome oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the squash halves cut-side down on a greased baking tray with a garlic clove in each cavity and roast for 40-60 minutes at 180C.
  2. Fry the onions in the coconut oil. Add the carrots along with the stock. When the carrots are just slightly underdone, switch off the heat.
  3. Scoop out the flesh from the cooked squash and add it to the pan.
  4. Transfer to a blender and blend in batches to a suitably smooth consistency. If too thick, add a little more water. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. For the nut butter pesto cream, add all ingredients to a small blender and blend to a smooth creamy consistency.
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