• Butternut seeds taste great toasted. To prepare your butternut, peel it with a potato peeler, chop in half and then scoop out the seeds.

    Chunky butternut and chickpea soup

    Serves: 4 - 6
    Cooking Time: 1 hr 15 mins


    • 1 butternut, peeled and diced (seeds reserved)
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) cumin seeds
    • 1 dried red chilli, crumbled
    • olive oil, to drizzle
    • 2 small red onions, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 celery sticks, trimmed and finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
    • a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped, stalks finely chopped
    • 1,5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
    • 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained
    • 50g almond flakes
    • 7,5ml (½ tbsp) fennel seeds
    • 7,5ml (½ tbsp) sesame seeds
    • 7,5ml (½ tbsp) poppy seeds
    • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • zest of 2 lemons
    • a few sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
    • 10ml (2 tsp) – 15ml (3 tsp) harissa paste
    • extra virgin olive oil



    Preheat the oven to 200°C.


    Place the butternut, cumin and crumbled chilli on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, mix together and place in the oven. Roast until the butternut is cooked through, about 45 minutes.


    Once the butternut is roasted, heat a large saucepan and pour in a splash of oil. Add two thirds of the onion, the celery, garlic and the parsley stalks, and cook gently with a lid on until softened. Drop in the roasted butternut and sweat for a few minutes, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and simmer for 15 minutes.


    Pick the butternut seeds out of the butternut pulp. Toast them with the almond flakes, fennel, sesame and poppy seeds in a little olive oil in the oven until they are nicely coloured all over. Set aside until needed.


    Season the soup well with salt and pepper and, using a handheld blender, whiz for a few seconds until the soup is chunky. Keep it warm while you mix together the lemon zest, chopped parsley leaves and mint. Chop the remaining onion a little more until it is very fine and mix it into the zesty mixture.


    To serve, spoon 2,5ml (½ tsp) harissa paste into each bowl. Divide the zesty herb mixture into the bowls and ladle over the soup. Stir each bowl once with a spoon, then sprinkle with the toasted seeds and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


    To drink: Boland Five Climates Viognier is light and floral, wonderful with Middle Eastern dishes.