The carrot and squash start to break down after half an hour’s cooking and, together with the starch from the pasta, will thicken the soup without the need for a blender. This is great for a hungry family.
The chilli is optional!
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 or 2 large carrots, peeled
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and deseeded
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, or ¼ tsp dried crushed chillies
1.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
75g dried spaghetti or small pasta shells
Freshly grated Parmesan, to serve
1 Sweat the onion and garlic in the oil over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes until soft. Chop the carrots and butternut squash into 1.5cm dice and add to the pan. Season and cook for another 6-7 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
2 Stir in the thyme leaves and the fresh or dried chilli, then pour in the stock. Stir and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until the carrots and squash are soft and beginning to break down.
3 Break the spaghetti into small pieces into the soup or add the pasta shells. Stir well and return to the boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked and the soup has thickened slightly. Check for seasoning and ladle into soup bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.