It’s soup season. In this sort of weather, there’s nothing nicer than a warming bowlful at lunch, and it’s even better if you made it the night before and have zero prep to do on the day itself. This is one of my favourites: a velvety, ginger-spiked squash and sweet potato soup topped with crisp, harissa-spiced beans and toasted pine nuts for crunch. Do remember to add the lemon juice – it makes all the difference to the flavour – and serve with your favourite bread alongside for a filling meal.
Squash and sweet potato soup with harissa-spiced beans and pine nuts
Prep 15 min
Cook 30 min
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
5cm piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 x 900g butternut squash
2 sweet potatoes
1¼l hot vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin haricot beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp rose harissa
50g pine nuts
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve (optional)
Buttered sourdough, rolls or flatbreads, to serve (optional)
Put the oil in a large pan on a medium heat, then add the cumin, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the onion, and soften, stirring occasionally, for seven minutes – use this time to peel and chop up the squash and sweet potato.
Add the squash, sweet potato and hot stock to the pan, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, tip the beans and rose harissa into a frying pan large enough to take the beans in almost a single layer, and fry on a medium heat for four minutes on each side, until the beans start to crisp up. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen roll, then put the pine nuts in the hot pan and toast on a low heat for two to three minutes on each side, watching them carefully so they don’t burn.
Blitz the soup in batches in a high-speed blender or food processor, or with a stick blender, until velvety in texture, then stir in the lemon juice, taste and adjust the salt as needed.
Serve the soup topped with the beans, pine nuts and parsley, if using, and enjoy with your choice of buttered sourdough, rolls or flatbreads.