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Winter Warmer: South African Butternut Soup Recipe

Winter Warmer: South African Butternut Soup Recipe

Butternut soup holds a special place in the heart of South African cuisine, known for its rich, creamy texture and subtly sweet flavour. This dish, often enjoyed during the cooler months, perfectly encapsulates the warmth and hospitality of South African kitchens. Here’s an in-depth look at how to prepare this traditional soup.


  • 1 kg butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • 250 ml cream
  • 5 ml ground cinnamon
  • 5 ml nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh cream and parsley for garnishing

Step-by-Step Guide:

1. Prepare the Vegetables: Start by peeling the butternut squash, removing the seeds, and cutting it into cubes. Finely chop the onions and mince the garlic cloves.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, sautéing until the onions become translucent and fragrant, which usually takes about 5 minutes.

3. To the pot, add the cubed butternut squash. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften slightly.

4. Pour in the vegetable or chicken stock, ensuring that the squash is fully submerged. Stir in the ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil.

5. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the butternut squash is completely soft and tender.

6. Remove the pot from the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup directly in the pot until it achieves a smooth, creamy consistency. If you’re using a regular blender, allow the soup to cool slightly before blending in batches.

7. Return the blended soup to the pot and place it over low heat. Stir in the cream and gently heat through, being careful not to let it boil.

8. Once heated, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the soup hot, garnished with a swirl of fresh cream and a sprinkle of parsley.

This traditional South African Butternut Soup is not only delicious but also a comforting reminder of the country's rich culinary traditions. Its simplicity, coupled with the depth of flavour, makes it a favourite in many households, particularly during colder seasons. Whether as a starter for a family meal or as a hearty main on a chilly evening, this soup is a delightful representation of South African home cooking. Visit our shop for more South African recipe inspirations.

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