- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1tsp cayenne pepper
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1.8kg (4lb) butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 700ml (1¼pt) vegetable or chicken stock
- 100ml (4fl oz) milk
- 125g (4½oz) shiitake mushrooms
- Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Cook the onion for 3 or 4 minutes, or until just starting to brown. Add the garlic, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and thyme, and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the squash and stock, bring to the boil then leave to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Pour in the milk and season well, remove from the heat and blend until smooth. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Heat the remaining oil in a small, heavy-based frying pan to medium high. Sauté the mushrooms for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crispy. Divide the mushrooms between each bowl of soup as a topping.