Around the world in 80 dishes No. 31: Butternut squash soup with truffle cream

Ingredients to serve 4

50g unsalted butter
200g rindless unsmoked back bacon, diced
3 leeks, trimmed and sliced
2 x 800g butternut squash, skinned, seeded and coarsely diced (about 1kg of flesh once the skin and seeds are removed)
150ml white wine
1.2 litres chicken stock
Sea salt, black pepper
150ml soured cream
1 teaspoon truffle oil

Method

In northern Italy entire restaurants are devoted to truffles, where every single dish is permeated with their scent. Black winter truffles (Tuber melanosporum), summer truffles (Tuber aestivum) and white ones (Tuber magnatum) are used in minute quantities to cast a heady cloak over pasta and risottos, a plate of raw beef or a cheese fondue.

Summer truffles are the most common, and they are the ones we usually encounter here, preserved whole in small jars, but you occasionally see the black winter truffles too – albeit at a price. We can tap into the scent of the white ones courtesy of tiny bottles of pungent truffle-flavoured oil, a few drops of which will leave you with the lingering suggestion of it long after you have finished the last mouthful.

This soup relies on a potato masher rather than a blender, so it's on the rustic side, and that suave little spoonful of cream makes all the difference.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the bacon and fry for 6-8 minutes until lightly coloured and starting to crisp, stirring occasionally. Add the leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft and glossy, and just starting to colour. Add the butternut squash and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat, again stirring occasionally. Pour in the wine and simmer until syrupy and well-reduced. Now add the chicken stock and season with black pepper and a little salt, bearing in mind the bacon will do some of the work. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash the butternut squash until you have a thick, sloppy purée. Taste to check the seasoning.

Blend the soured cream and truffle oil in a small bowl. Serve the soup in warm bowls with the truffle cream spooned in a swirl and a scattering of croutons on top if you wish.

Taken from 'Soup Glorious Soup' by Annie Bell (Kyle Cathie, £14.99).

Suggested Topics
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower