Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Roasted Butternut Soup

This is a really nice soup, very tasty and warming and such a lovely autumnal colour; we had some for lunch today after a couple of hours of raking up yet more leaves from the garden.

Despite my best intentions last week I didn’t get round to making this until the weekend because I’ve been trying to empty out the freezer a bit and, having found several frozen blocks of various soups lurking in there, I wanted to get those out of the way before making any more.

I’ve had a lovely clear out and a tidy-up of the freezer; it’s now ready for stacking with nice Christmassy bits and pieces plus a few things like mushroom duxelles and red cabbage which will both be needed on Christmas day. I also want to make and freeze some mince pies and I’ll probably make another batch of Not Sausage Rolls and a few cheese and onion quiches as well.

Maybe I used to be a squirrel in a former life – this is obviously my version of storing nuts for the winter!

1 large butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
few leaves of fresh sage
1.5l vegetable stock

Cut the unpeeled squash in half, discarding the seeds, and put into a large roasting tin; drizzle with half the olive oil and put the thyme leaves and whole garlic cloves in the seed cavity. Roast in a hot oven for 45 minutes until soft and just starting to brown at the edges.

Meanwhile, put the onions, carrots, celery, sage and remaining olive oil into a large saucepan and cook gently for 10-15 minutes until softened.  Add the stock and bring to the boil; simmer for 20 minutes until the veg are tender.

When the squash is cooked, scoop the flesh from the skin and add it to the stock along with the garlic squeezed out of its papery skin. Simmer for a further 5 minutes then blitz with a stick blender until absolutely smooth. You might need to add a bit more stock if it’s too thick.

Nice with a swirl of single cream or a blob of crème fraiche.

Makes 6 generous portions and freezes well.

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