Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Toss the chopped butternut squash in enough olive oil to coat the skin, season with sea salt, pepper and a good pinch of dried chili flakes. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the squash is golden and cooked through. (Roasting the squash really intensifies the flavour and makes for a deeper tasting soup).
While the squash is roasting, place a large pot over a medium flame and heat a about 2tbsp of olive oil. Add in the onion, carrots, celery, chopped fresh chili, ground ginger and cinnamon and cook gently over a medium/low heat for about 20-25 minutes, until the onions are completely softened and beginning to caramelise. Stir every now and again to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
When the butternut squash is just finished roasting, add the garlic into the large pot with the other vegetables, turn up the heat and cook for a few minutes to release its flavour. Make sure the garlic does not catch and burn as the acrid taste will ruin the soup. After a minute or two, add the roasted squash into the pot stir everything together and then cover with the stock and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for a few minutes making sure the carrots and celery are cooked through.
Let the soup cool slightly and then blitz it in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If you find the soup is very thick, you can think it down a little with some more stock or some rice milk. If you do this, add the liquid in slowly so as not to thin it too much.
Serve the soup with the chopped parsley scattered over and a drizzling of oil on top.
Yield: 6-8 Servings
1 red onion, chopped
4 Cloves garlic – chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped into chunks
2 Carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 sticks celery, chopped into chunks
2 red chili, chopped
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon or 3-4 good quality cinnamon quills
Good pinch of dried chili flakes
0.5 tsp ground ginger
1.2 L Vegetable or chicken stock
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Small handful of parsley, chopped