Enjoy this recipe for Amanda’s you-betcha-it’s-just-butternut Butternut soup!

One winter, when my now-husband and I were still getting to know each other, I invited him to my place for supper. On the menu was butternut soup. I had at that time only recently perfected the dish and was confident and keen to demonstrate my skills and share my delicious soup with a friend.

We lived in the same block of flats – that is how we had met – and so as dinnertime approached, he mozied on over to my place and knocked on the door. Like a good host, my soup was almost done, and all I needed to do was pour in the milk, stir it through, reheat it, and then I could serve.

I let him in, and him not being shy, he eagerly approached the pot and peeked inside to see what deliciousness I had prepared for him. He took off the lid, and it remained suspended in the air for a few seconds. There was a silence, which I did not interpret in any other way than one of appreciative contemplation. 

He then put down the lid, and I turned to set the table and thought nothing when I heard the door open and close – he lived just a few doors down and had probably forgotten something. Next thing he is back, with a tin in his hands. It was one of those with a tab you can pull to easily take off the top. In one gesture he does this and suspends the tin over the pot, aiming to empty the contents into it. It all happened very quickly. But I was quicker.

In a single glance I had taken in that it was a tin of Viennas and what he was intending to do with it. 

“Nooooooo!” I shouted, simultaneously placing my hands protectively over the contents of my pot. “What are you doing?!”

“I just want to add some meat to the soup…”

“Nooo!!” I said. “This is a v-e-g-e-t-a-r-i-a-n soup. It does not have any meat in it!”

“Oh,” he said, and put down the tin. 

“Step away from the pot,” I commanded, and shaken but undeterred, continued finishing the dish, tut-tutting to myself all the while. 

To cut to the chase, at the end of the evening he picked up the pot and said goodbye with the leftovers tucked under his arm. 

That was my hubby’s introduction to butternut soup. The story has entered family lore and I tell it every so often, and we always get a good chuckle out of it.

So here follows Amanda’s you-betcha-it’s-just-butternut, butternut soup. This is such an easy and delicious recipe, that it has become a winter staple in my family. The potato gives more body to the dish, while the apple lends a certain tartness, to offset the sweetness of the butternut – as does the turmeric. Turmeric with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, adds a decided dose of goodness to an already very healthy cold-weather meal. Enjoy!

To serve 2:


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium-sized onion, sliced

1 teaspoon of turmeric

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 medium-sized potatoes (peeled and cubed)

1 medium-sized butternut (about 3 – 4 cups of peeled, cubed flesh)

1 medium-sized apple (peeled and cubed)

500ml full-cream milk

Salt to taste


Place the pot on medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the sliced onion and gently braise till it becomes translucent and starts to brown. Add the teaspoon of turmeric and stir it through the onion. Add the crushed garlic and simmer gently; be careful not to burn. Add the cubed potatoes, replace lid and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cubed butternut, the cubed apple, and the salt. Gently cook with the lid closed for about half an hour – or until all ingredients are soft. Take off the heat and allow to cool. Blend with a hand-held blender for a few minutes until there are no lumps, then return pot to stove and gently reheat. Add the milk but do not replace the lid, or the milk will curdle. The idea is just to stir the milk through so that it reaches the temperature of the rest of the ingredients, but do not allow it to boil. 

Serve garnished with an optional drizzle of olive oil and/ or a dollop of crème fraiche and/ or chopped fresh coriander.