12 October 2012

Butternut Squash Soup and Winter Veg

Autumn is one of my favourite times of year. I love the smell of wood smoke as people begin to light their fires in the evening and the crackle of leaves underfoot as I yomp in the field with my dogs and I particularly love the seasonal foods that go along with the changing season. I'm not really a salad person or even a cold food person really, I much prefer warming soups and stews and casseroles. Good, hearty cold weather food. I love cabbage and broccoli and beetroot and cauliflower and sprouts and basically all things green and leafy (except lettuce!). Whenever I can, I prefer to buy locally grown, seasonal fruit and vegetables and try not to buy vegetables from the supermarket (although there are times when I find that a quick trip to my local Morrisons is all I can cope with) and my favourite place to get my veg is at a local farm shop. They have a fantastic range of seasonal fruit and veg and they look so luscious. The seasonal squash in the photograph below looked so perfect that I actually thought they were plastic and I picked one up to check! 

One of my favourite winter soups is butternut squash. It has a lovely sweet, buttery taste and once blitzed, it has a beautifully velvety texture. 

Butternut Squash Soup 

Halve your butternut squash. You will need about 2lbs of flesh but you can halve all then ingredients if you want to make smaller quantities. Scoop out the seeds and place in an overproof dish along with some unpeeled garlic cloves, a drizzle of oil or a knob of butter, a sprinkle of salt and some rosemary sprigs if it takes your fancy or maybe a few chilli flakes.

I usually put some foil over the tray to stop it burning too quickly and then I roast it in a pre-heated oven at 180oC (fan 160oC/355oF/gas 4) for about 45-50 minutes until the squash is nice and tender. Take the foil off for the last 10-15 mins so the squash gets golden. While the squash is cooking, peel and chop an onion and soften it in some butter. Once the squash is cooked and cooled, peel the skin off, which is now much easier to do than doing it before it's cooked and cut into chunks. Put the chunks into a saucepan with the onions and also squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the pan. Add one and a half pints of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer) and simmer for about 15 minutes. Blitz your soup, add a blob of creme fraiche or sour cream and top with either some chopped chives or some crispy bacon bits if the mood takes you. Serve with crusty bread, preferably in front of a roaring log fire while watching Gardener's World on TV ........ Yummy :-)

1 comment:

  1. Looks yummy! I've just made some butternut squash soup today too ... when I've blitzed it, I add a dollop of smooth peanut butter and heat through until melted. Try it, you'll love it!

    Have a lovely weekend

    Claire xxx