Saturday, 5 January 2013

Butternut and Carrot Soup

Before Christmas I put all the fruit and veg I’d bought in a cardboard box and popped it outside in the garage to give me more fridge space. I think I may have had a brainstorm because I seem to have overbought somewhat….

We’re still ploughing our way through a small mountain of clementines and quite why I bought so many carrots is anybody’s guess, but I still seem to have masses of them; don’t even ask what I was going to do with the butternut squash I discovered because I can’t remember! Thank goodness root veg keep so well in a cold place.

My usual way of using up a glut of veg is to make soup and that’s exactly what I did a couple of days ago. It was actually quite nice to have something simple after all the excesses of the festive season.

1 medium butternut squash
400g carrots
1 large red onion
1tbsp olive oil
1.5 litres vegetable stock
good pinch of dried chilli flakes
½ tsp dried thyme
50g red lentils
a few snipped chives

Peel and deseed the squash then peel the carrots and chop both into 3cm chunks; peel the onion and slice it into eighths through the root end. Put all the veg into a large plastic bag together with the olive oil, hold the top tightly closed and shake well to distribute the oil; put the veg in a single layer on a large baking tray and roast at 200C for 30 minutes until tender and just beginning to char at the edges.

Scoop the veg into a large saucepan and add the lentils, stock, thyme and chilli flakes; stir well, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are completely soft.

Blitz with a stick blender until smooth.

(I was going to put a spoonful of crème fraiche on this but in the event I decided to go with a sprinkle of snipped chives…better for the waistline!)

Makes 6 good portions

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