Next to warm and comforting tea lattes, my other favourite thing to enjoy during the Fall season is soup. I guess Fall is pretty much known as tea latte season and soup season for me. Can you blame me though? There is probably nothing else that is more perfect than the anticipation of arriving inside from a chilly day to a tea latte in a big mug or bowl of freshly made soup. To fit with the fall theme butternut squash soup is a must and a favourite but to make it even better tea is involved in my recipe.
I was ecstatic when the first butternut squash started to grow in the garden this summer. Other years I haven’t been so lucky. If anyone has grown them or other squashes before you know you need an ample amount of space for them as they grow like crazy and basically claim every free spot. I haven’t really experienced with butternut squash outside of soups because I’m just a huge fan of them that way that I never really have any left to try to make other things. This time around though, I wanted to make my usual butternut squash soup a bit differently and that was to incorporate tea as the broth entirely.
Usually when I make a butternut squash soup I might roast the squash in the oven before preparing as a soup. It adds a nice roasted and light smokey bite to the dish. However, I thought I could eliminate that one step and have a tea that all the ingredients would cook in and replace those flavours.
Enter Keemun Black Tea….
Keemun is a black tea produced in China. If you’re not familiar with this tea by name, chances are you have tried it before if you have enjoyed a cup of English Breakfast tea or other breakfast tea blends. English Breakfast tea can vary, but typically it involves this Chinese tea some way. Keemun has a strong and rich flavour with little to no astringency. Perhaps my favourite thing about this tea is the toasty notes it produces through each steep. There are some slight smokiness from the aroma of the dried leaves and spent leaves. That smokiness also comes out through each sip which makes it a perfect choice for this butternut squash soup’s tea broth.
- 4 cups water
- 3 tablespoons Keemun black tea
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded and cubed
- fresh herbs (recommend: thyme and sage)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- pumpkin & hemp seeds for garnish (optional)
- In a small pot, or tea kettle, bring water to a boil and steep the keemun black tea for 5 minutes.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add in the onion, carrots, potatoes and butternut squash to cook until lightly browned.
- Add the keemun black tea broth to the large pot with the cooked vegetables, making sure it is enough liquid to cover all the vegetables. Steep and add more broth if needed.
- Chop a handful of fresh herbs (thyme and sage) and put them in the large pot. Bring everything to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover pot and all the soup to simmer until all vegetables are soft (approx. 45 minutes).
- Transfer the butternut squash soup to a blender or use a hand held immersion blender and blend until the soup consistency is smooth.
- Return the now puree’d soup to the pot on the stove. Bring to a simmer and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds (optional!) Serve and enjoy!