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Butternut Squash and Sage Soup with Parsley Pesto

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

Serves 4


This is a great recipe to jazz up the good old butternut squash. It is a ray of sunshine in a bowl on grey days in winter. Butternut squash when sweated over a long time goes very sweet and creamy. The parsley pesto goes very well with it and will last for about three days in the fridge covered. You can add coconut milk to the recipe, reducing the hot stock to 700ml, and add the coconut milk with the stock.

Photo & Recipe by: Alastair Burkitt


20ml of good extra virgin olive oil

1kg of butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces.

4 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 red onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1litre of hot vegetable or chicken stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A large hand full of sage


For the Parsley Pesto:

40g freshly grated Parmigiano – Reggiano or vegetarian friendly hard cheese

20g flat leaf parsley leaves

25g pine nuts

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

125ml of extra virgin olive oil.


Parsley Pesto Copyright Darina Allen – The Ballymaloe 12-week Cookery Course

Photo & Recipe by: Alastair Burkitt


  1. Place a heavy bottomed saucepan onto a medium heat, add the extra virgin olive oil, then add the sage leaves. Allow them to sizzle in the oil for about 2 – 4 minutes or until crisp.

  2. Remove them with a slotted spoon. Now you are left with a wonderful sage oil, add the onions, carrots, butternut squash and garlic. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover the vegetables with an old butter paper and a lid. Reduce the heat to a low.

  3. Sweat the vegetables for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Stir in the hot stock and bring to the boil, then leave uncovered to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Or until the squash is tender and a knife goes through it easily.

  4. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth consistency. Return to the saucepan and reheat.

  5. Serve in warm bowls, topped with either the sage leaves chopped or parsley pesto. A swirl of cream for extra indulgence.

*Vegan if you substitute the cheese for a vegan alternative.

Recipe created by Alastair Burkitt a Ballymaloe graduate be sure to check him out @alburkitt on Instagram

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