Friday, 1 January 2016

roasted butternut squash & carrot soup for a happy new year!

I tried to avoid the fireworks but couldn’t resist peeking out from behind the curtains to beautiful displays shooting up and raining down in every direction. I almost regretted not going out to see them at my local park. But then the warm comfort of my room and my pyjamas reminded me that it’s much better inside with Silver Linings Playbook (brilliant film) and a hot drink. This is the unglamorous life of food obsessed me. I’d much rather research recipes, plan new dishes and look up the etymology of biscuits than socialise.

And I know I’m not the only one. There are more like me out there. Other individuals who think of pretty new dishes that will also photograph well and quirky bowls and cutlery, and would much rather bake than have a conversation. The first day of a new year is always a contemplative one. It’s time to take stock and plan. That’s based on the proviso that you aren’t partied out. Ok, I get it, most of you are partied out and sleeping in and not thinking about planning anything except what you’ll eat for dinner but maybe later on during the day the year 2016 will hit you.

I am beginning this year on a healthy note (with the odd cake obviously!) and enjoyed my last guilty meal yesterday. Pizza (thin base so I don’t feel too guilty) and leftover Christmas cake. My sister packed a little home-grown butternut squash for me along with other little treats following the holiday break and suggested I make soup with it. Now I’m not a huge fan of soup. I do eat it once in a while and even then I feel it’s more of a starter dish than a main meal. This soup however is absolutely delicious! The weather has recently been unseasonably mild and now I’m beginning to feel a little winter chill. Sweet and a tad spicy, this butternut squash, and carrot soup did just the trick.

Ingredients (serves 2)
1 medium squash (about 200g once peeled and cubed)
1 medium carrot
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2/3 tsp herbs de Provence
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1 vegetable stock cube
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbs olive oil.

Preheat oven to 210/190 fan/gas mark 6.

Peel and chop butternut squash and carrot into small chunks and roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway until lightly golden around the edges and tender. Leave to cool once done.

Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic and onion. Add salt, herbs and spices and crumble in the stock cube. Sautee for about a minute until softened and take off the heat.

Transfer the roasted vegetables and sautéed onion mixture either to a blender or a bowl (for a handheld blender) and add 700 ml of water and blend until smooth.

Return back to the pan and heat through for a couple of minutes on a low simmer and serve with toasted bread. 

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