January: National Soup Month

We’ve all appreciated the warming and nourishing benefits of devouring a bowl of steaming soup when the weather outside is cold…

Soup is one of our favourite dishes at Grassington House and as January is National Soup Month, here’s some facts about soup and a heart-warming recipe from Chef John.

  • Historical evidence of the existence of soup dates all the way back to about 20,000 B.C. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of a waterproofed container, which started out as clay vessels.
  • Animal Hides and watertight baskets were used along with heated rocks. - The word soup itself derives from the French word soupe – originally a broth of liquid and vegetables.
  • A 1772 cookbook titled The Frugal Housewife, had an entire chapter on the subject of soups.
  • In 1897, Doctor John T. Dorrance, a chemist with the Campbell Soup Company, invented condensed soup. Condensing soup allowed soup to be packaged into a smaller can and sold at a lower price than other canned soups.

Grassington House Roast Butternut Squash, Chilli and Coconut Soup (Serves 4)


  • 1 kg butternut squash – peeled, deseeded and diced
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped 250g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic - crushed
  • 1/2 red chilli - chopped
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 1 1/2 pints vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees
  2. Place diced squash on the tray and drizzle with (Yorkshire) rapeseed oil
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  5. Heat a pan, drizzle with a little oil
  6. Add onion, garlic, chilli and coconut to pan and season. Sweat for 5 minutes, but do not allow to colour
  7. Add the roast squash from the oven, add tin tomatoes and just cover with vegetable stock
  8. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the squash is soft.
  9. Check the seasoning and adjust
  10. Purée in a food processor until or stick whisk until smooth (We pass our soups though a sieve to give a refined finish, the choice is yours)
  11. Just before serving, add a splash of double cream and a nob of butter, just to give it that really smooth and creamy taste and texture. This is optional.
  12. Serve the soup with some chopped coriander sprinkled on top and maybe a warmed toasted naan bread and a bit of pecorino cheese….delicious!