Sunday, 9 October 2011

roast butternut squash soup with chilli and ginger

This one was one of the lovely Lorraine Pascale recipes from her new series and new book.

One butternut squash around 800 g cut in half length ways and seeds removed
One clove garlic left in paper but smashed a bit
One onion chopped
Two tablespoons olive oil
50g of butter
One regular chilli
2cm chunk fresh ginger
900ml chicken stock
Half a lime
Splash tinned coconut milk
One sprig coriander
Salt and pepper to taste

First preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark7.
Score your butternut squash halves and drizzle with half the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop garlic in with the butternut squash and place in oven for 30 minutes or until flesh is soft when tested with a knife
While squash is in the oven take remaining olive oil and the butter and melt in a large pot. put in the onions and some seasoning and cook on a LOW heat for 20 minutes or so.  These onions should be meltingly soft with no bite.  Which is how my mum used to do them for hotdogs.  But she used to do them in microwave!
Colour is just slightly off here but they have all softened and sweetened.  I think the salt in there helps stop them burning and catching.  Stir occasionally and keep your heat low.  Takes time yes but I was only hanging around for the squash to roast.  Meanwhile I peeled and finely grated the ginger and got out the crushed chilli jar as had no fresh chillis.  I used just a pinch as had younger son eating with me.
When the squash is done take out from oven and let it cool a little to handle it.  Patience has never been my middle name so I managed to just avoid burning my fingers

Squeeze the roasted garlic out of it's paper and into the onion mixture.  Then scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash and put this in the pan to
It's not looking amazing at this point I must admit. Lorraine recommends turning oven off and putting soup bowls in warm oven to heat up.
Now to the pan you can add, ginger, chilli, and chicken or veg stock.  I used veg stock as we have a vegetarian in the house. Then simply bring it all up to the boil and turn it off. 
At this point it is smelling and tasting great.  I didn't need to adjust seasoning but you might if you try this after you have blended it.  At this stage the texture is a bit strange for soup but doesn't affect the taste. I blended it with my trusty stick blender.  Lorraine suggests a few squeezes of lime which might be great but we didn't try it.  I had my trusty kitchen helper who enthusiastically helped me dish up and put a few tablespoons of coconut milk into the soup bowls for me.
This soup surprised me.  I didn't expect such deep flavours.  You could taste everything in it.  Was a warm chilli heat. I wasn't convinced to start off with that coconut milk was going to work with this and wasn't to convinced at opening a tin just to drizzle on the soup.  My youngest convinced me otherwise and it just complimented the warm, autumnal tastes very well. I was also a little concerned that the spice heat might be a little to much for my son, but he was pretty happy with a tea towel as a make shift bib and trying to eat it fast as he could.