Spicy Roasted Squash Soup

I’m still clinging to the squash season, there are two of my autumn squash hoard left, sitting outside my window keeping cool (well, pretty cold now, actually.)

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Since the snow’s set in (although just a light dusting by Swiss standards, it would be enough to constitute a fall of a good 20% in the British economy…) it’s great to have something easy to warm up at lunchtime, and this does the job nicely for me. You can add extra tabasco for more of a kick, but this is just right for my taste buds. I’ve put ginger in the ingredient list in brackets because although I didn’t use it in the batch that I made, I’m eating it with the aroma of fresh ginger (from a ginger-preserving experiment) around me and they go together rather well, so next time I make it, I will certainly give it a go.

The squash I used for this recipe was an onion squash, this little fellow:

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It’s quite a small squash, you could substitute half a largeish butternut squash, or use a whole one and double up the other ingredients.

Spicy Roasted Squash Soup (4 servings)

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(Adapted from this recipe)

1 squash
Olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 a small celeriac (or about 1/3 of a bigger one)
1 pint vegetable stock + 1 pint water
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp thyme
(1 tsp ground ginger or fresh)
1 tin kidney beans
1 red pepper
2 tsp tabasco sauce

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds (don’t bin them, don’t bin them!) Drizzle the halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at about 180 for 3/4 hour or so, until the flesh is soft.
Meanwhile, chop up the onion, crush the garlic and finely chop the celeriac (I slice it thinly and them cut the slices into pieces about 1cm wide.)

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In a large pot, sauté these together in a little oil for about 10 minutes. Then add 1/2 a pint of stock and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
Rinse the kidney beans and chop up the pepper.

When the squash has come out of the oven, let it stand for 10 or so minutes, then scrape out the flesh and add it to the pan, along with the rest of the stock, and the cumin and thyme (and ginger, if you’re using it.) Season well with salt and pepper and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend the soup using a hand-held blender, then add the pepper, kidney beans and tabasco. Let it cook for 20 more minutes.

Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt or crème fraîche and a thick slice of bread.

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