Fresh sage leaves
2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
½ - 1 fresh red chilli, to taste, deseeded and finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 kg butternut squash cut into chunks
2 litres good quality chicken or vegetable stock
Put a large saucepan on to a medium heat and pour in a some olive oil. Add the sage leaves and fry for about 30 seconds until they turn dark green and crisp. Quickly remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl lined with kitchen paper. Put the pan back on the heat and add the chopped onions, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary leaves, chilli and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook gently for approximately ten minutes until the vegetables turn sweet and soft. Add the squash and the stock to the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for around half an hour.
When the squash is soft and cooked through, whiz the soup with a hand blender or pour it into a liquidizer and pulse until you have a smooth purée or keep it chunky if you prefer the texture. Divide the soup between your bowls, and sprinkle with a few of your crispy sage leaves and drizzle with a good-quality extra virgin olive oil.