I spent a lovely day with my mother on Wednesday, and she showed me what she had been growing.
It was utterly glorious; autumn was everywhere, in the crisp, cold air; in the fallen apples littering the floor mingling with the leaves…and in this simply beautiful butternut squash!
Being the best mummy in the world, she let me have it, and I ran back to London clutching it in my paws, trying to work out what best to do with it.
In the end, I decided on a classic, simple butternut squash soup. This recipe uses ginger and cumin for a touch of depth, and it fills the house with the most glorious aroma whilst it is cooking.
This delicious soup is easy, quick to make, and freezes beautifully. Just the thing on a cold autumnal evening; serve with a big hunk of good crusty bread!
What you’ll need:
A good knob of butter
One butternut squash (or two x 250g bags prepared cubed squash from any supermarket)
500ml good quality vegetable stock (If you don’t have any homemade stuff, I find Knorr Stock Pots really good)
One large onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
A few slices of ginger, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cumin
A chopping board and sharp knife
Melt a generous knob of butter in a pan under a low heat. Add your roughly chopped onion, garlic and ginger to the pan and let it gently cook down, stirring occasionally.
Whilst your onion, garlic and ginger are gently softening, cut the butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon…
…and then cut into rough cubes.
By now, your onions, garlic and ginger ought to be beautifully softened, but not browned. Pop the butternut squash into the pan, and add the ground cumin and nutmeg. Enjoy that small, isn’t it glorious?
Now, pour in your vegetable stock , turn the heat up slightly, and pop the lid on your pan.
Now, go and have a glass of wine or something; let it simmer away gently for about half an hour, stirring occasionally, until the squash is softened. Take the lid off for the final ten minutes if you remember.
Put the mixture into the blender.
Blend until it is smooth, in batches if you need to. If you like, you can always skip this step and leave it chunky, but I find that blending it really brings out that amazing velvety-ness.
Pop it back in the saucepan, heat it gently, check the seasoning (I like lashings of black pepper with this soup) and serve.
Enjoy it on its own, or with a decadent knob of butter or Crème fraiche in the middle, with a lovely hunk of good bread. Bliss!
See you on Monday. Have a glorious weekend!
Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!