I've been granted permission to harvest one of L's butternut squash, lovingly grown on her YorkRise allotment and, having recently tasted the most delicious B'nut Squash soup made by my niece, I had to make a batch and bring this bowl of goodness to your attention. A soup, by the way, which can be made in haste whenever a quick and satisfying lunch (or supper) is needed for extra guests or hungry children – my family are all soup-makers and use whatever veg we have available.
Here we go:
Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
You will need:
1 Squash, 1 Sweet Potato, 1 Onion, 1 litre (2 pints) chicken (or veg) stock, 1 oz butter.
Optional: a few fresh herbs (dill, coriander, parsley) - finely chopped, swirl of chilli sauce, homemade croutons.
Melt butter slowly in large pot or casserole dish. Chop onion, add to pot. Cover with lid so that the veg 'sweats'. Peel and dice squash and sweet potato. (In case you're wondering, I don't use garlic in this recipe as I make my chicken stock with garlic, but you can add a clove or two if you wish.)
Add diced veg to the onion in pot, replace lid. Leave to cook for about 10 - 15 minutes on a very low flame (we're still just softening the veg), but check and stir round from time to time. Add the stock. Season with a quick grind of sea salt and pepper. Bring just to the boil, then simmer on a low heat for about 40 minutes. Allow to cool and blitz in a blender. (If you blitz before cooling, you'll blow the lid off your blender if it's over half full - and scald yourself in the process. Believe me, I know.) Or leave chunky if you prefer.
Blitzed to a puree and waiting to be heated through for lunch.Either way, heat up a bowl for lunch, garnish with herbs, croutons, creme fraiche or chilli sauce - any or all of these! - and chunks of warm crusty bread …
Here's a thought: Instead of adding chilli sauce at the end, you could chuck a finely chopped chilli in at the beginning with the other veg - or add a dash of Tabasco sauce during the simmering.