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12.11.2016

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A deliciously sweet and spicy butternut squash soup with chilli, topped with a tangy mousse of feta whipped with goat’s yoghurt. And some stuff about a crazy road trip.

Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Overhead view of one blue bowl of butternut squash soup sitting on a light blue linen tea towel on a dark surface. On the soup is a swirl of whipped feta and a chilli pepper.
So if any of you follow me on facebook you might know I was away for a while. I went on a road trip with two friends of mine. Quite a long road trip for Greek standards, since a five hour car journey is considered a huge one here. We went on a five day road trip, from Athens to Edinburgh. That’s Greece to Scotland! As in all the way across Europe basically.
Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A backlit view of Edinburgh old town from Princes Street through autumn trees.
We crossed over to Italy from Patras on a ferry, then drove up through Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, through the channel tunnel (!) and then up through the UK. Such an amazing experience. I highly recommend it, as it’s not nearly as tiring as we thought it would be. Even though there were 3 of us plus 3 pets (one dog two cats) in a fairly small car! It turns out that driving in other countries is way way easier and restful than driving in Greece (what, you already knew that?). In fact for me, 7 hours in Switzerland equals one return trip into the centre of Athens from my house (90 minutes total). I’m serious. The mental fatigue of driving here is worse than I could have imagined. It took a road trip like this to realise it. I think a drive through Europe should be a mandatory part of a driving test! Anyway, enough about that.
Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A backlit view of Edinburgh Castle with a dark cloud looming over it.
So we didn’t do any touristy things while on the road, as we avoided big cities and kept on the motorways. Our trip had a purpose other than sightseeing (we were helping one of my friends re-locate and move her pets to her new home) so driving into Strasburg for example seemed a good idea when we set off, but turned out to be too much of a detour, so we just drove on. Motorways aren’t the most beautiful a country has to offer, and the two times we could have seen some amazing views, near Lake Como and in the Scottish countryside, it was nighttime and pitch black. How’s that for luck? But I made up for it photo-wise during my two-day stay in Edinburgh. So here is a sample of those pics (it was so hard to choose!) and if you want to see more you can pop over to the album on my facebook page.
Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A dark view through an archway looking into a courtyard with old university buildings.
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Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Two long rows of trees lining a grassy part of a park, forming a natural corridor. Autumn leaves on the ground.
About this soup. The idea is from a soup I enjoyed at a brilliant restaurant in Edinburgh called The Dogs. Yes, there was no way I wasn’t going to try a place with a name like that! I highly recommend it (and no this is not a sponsored post). Their version was pumpkin, chilli and what I think was goat’s cheese on top. It was delish. So I thought I’d try something like it, but switched ingredients for similar ones that are more local. I used butternut squash because I prefer it to pumpkin, chopped dried chilli peppers from the Mister’s mum’s garden, and a mousse made by whipping feta cheese with goat’s yoghurt. You could go for just crumbling feta on top of the soup, but the yoghurt gives a special tang that perfectly complements the sweetness of the squash.
Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Overhead view of one blue bowl of butternut squash soup, in the top right corner of the frame, sitting on a light blue linen tea towel on a dark surface. The linen extends towards the bottom of the photo. On the soup is a swirl of whipped feta and a chilli pepper. To the left of the bowl is a broken piece of toasted bread.
It’s a very easy recipe, with a sensible amount of ingredients (not a gazillion). I must confess, didn’t roast the butternut squash. If this is an unforgivable sin I apologize. I thought of it, but sometimes you just want to get on with things, and turning on the oven would have added a step I couldn’t be bothered with. There, I said it. Sorry. Feel free to roast away if you want! But it’s still delicious without all that. So let me know what you think of the soup and the Edinburgh photos!
Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Branches of a tree with yellow leaves and red berries in front of the window of a church.
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Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A stairwell full of autumn leaves leading down into a park, wrought iron railings on each side and a lamp post on the left. Tree branches looming on top, and a woman in black walking ahead in the distance.
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Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A church under a hazy blue grey sky, trees with autumn leaves in front of it (St. Cuthbert's in Princes Street Gardens)
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Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: View of an old building in the far distance, through the naked branches of a tree nearby, and more trees further ahead full of autumn green leaves.
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Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A squirrel standing against a large tree trunk. Autumn leaves on the ground and more trees in the background.
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Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A view from above of a white haired man in a cap, standing on steps in a park with an easel, sketching his view of Edinburgh old town.
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Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Whipped Goat’s Yoghurt Feta www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A 3/4 side view of one blue bowl of butternut squash soup, sitting on a light blue linen tea towel. A swirl of whipped feta and a chilli pepper sit on top of the soup. Behind the bowl is a small jar of whipped feta with a wooden handle spoon sitting in it. To the left of the bowl are some pieces of broken toasted bread. Right at the top a slightly blurred view of spoons and some whole dried chilli peppers.

Ingredients

1 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs butter

1 small/medium onion (about 70gr after prep), chopped

1/2 tsp chilli flakes (for a mild spiciness)

1 small butternut squash (about 700gr after prep), peeled, seeded and cut into large cubes

800ml hot water, approx.

3/4 tsp salt (will depend on your feta)

1/4 tsp white pepper, freshly ground

For the whipped goat’s yoghurt feta

100gr feta (mine is a dry crumbly type), crumbled

60gr goat’s yoghurt

Step 1

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat and add onion. Lower heat and cook gently for 10 minutes until onion is softened. Add chilli flakes and leave for about one more minute.

Step 2

Turn heat back up to medium and add butternut squash. Stir well to coat and let cook for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add about 800ml of hot water, or enough to just cover the ingredients, and the salt and pepper. Turn heat to high and bring to the boil. Turn back to medium, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. If necessary turn the heat to low, and continue simmering for another 20 minutes until the squash is very soft and can be broken up with a wooden spoon.

Step 4

While the soup is cooking make your whipped goat’s yoghurt feta. In a small food processor whizz the crumbled feta and yoghurt till it forms a smooth, fluffy, spreadable paste. Set aside.

Step 5

When ready, use a stick blender to blend the soup till smooth, and return to the stovetop to reheat. Serve with a large dollop of whipped feta and some crusty bread.

Notes: Amounts are enough for 4 small starters or 2 main courses.

Goat’s yoghurt is quite tangy and runny. If you can’t find any you can use whichever yoghurt you like as long as it’s not too thick.

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