It’s five months now since my photoblogger sister moved to London. I’ve found it odd not having her close by, although technology makes the distance somewhat easier. We Skype (yes, it’s a verb now too) on Sundays, mostly, as we’re readying ourselves for the working week ahead. This weather, the ritual is straightforward: chat, chop, simmer or roast, gossip, stir, taste, giggle, salt, pepper, and blend. It’s soup season, to be sure, and not long until her next sojourn home.
There wasn’t much in the way of soup-making veg in the house this past Sunday, but this recipe yielded two lovely warming lunches. And the chat was good, too.
Spiced roasted butternut squash and red pepper soup
Ingredients for two hearty bowlfuls:
1 medium onion
1 large red pepper
2 cloves garlic (whole, skin on)
1 smallish butternut squash
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chilli powder
a couple of glugs of olive oil
600ml vegetable stock
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 200C / 180C fan.
Chop the onion into eight chunks. Remove the seeds from the pepper and slice into strips. Add the onion and pepper pieces to a roasting tray along with the garlic cloves and toss in a glug of olive oil.
Peel the squash (a potato peeler works best for me) and carefully cut in half. Remove the seeds and pith and chop the lot into one-inch chunks or so. In a second roasting tin, toss the squash in the cumin, chilli powder and another glug of olive oil.
Pop both trays in the oven to roast for around thirty minutes or until tender. When the roasting time is almost up, prepare the stock and leave it on a very low heat.
Allow the roasted veg to cool for a few minutes before carefully peeling the pepper slices and squeezing the roasted garlic flesh from its skin. Add all of the veg to the stock, stir and leave to simmer for a few minutes.
Take the pot off the heat and let the soup cool slightly. Whizz the lot up with a hand blender until smooth, adding a little more stock if needed, and season to taste. Serve with a scattering of toasted flaked almonds.