Mary Berry's BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Unlike pumpkin, butternut squash are available all year. Shaped like a large peanut, they have a sweet orange flesh. Roasting them first in the oven means that you don’t have to tackle removing the tough skin, and it fills the kitchen with a delicious aroma!
- 3 small Butternut Squash, about 3 1/2 lb (1.6kg) total weight
- 2 Tbsps Olive Oil
- Black Pepper, freshly ground
- Nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 oz (25 g) Margarine
- 1 Lrg Onion, roughly chopped
- 2 Lrg Carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 Lrg Celery stalks, sliced
- 1 inch (2.5 cm) Ginger Root, grated
- 2-2 1/4 pints (1.1-1.3 ltrs) Vegetable Stock
- 1 tsp Rosemary, dried or sprig of fresh Rosemary
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 100mins
Adapted from maryberry.co.uk
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C / Gas 6.
2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds with a metal spoon and discard. Arrange the squash halves cut side up in a roasting tin just big enough to hold the squash in a single layer and drizzle over the olive oil. Season each squash half with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Pour 1/4 pint (150ml) water around the squash. Cook in the preheated oven for about 1 ¼ hours, basting occasionally, until the squash are very tender. Allow to cool.
3. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion, carrot, celery and grated ginger. Cook for 5-10 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the stock, rosemary and seasoning, bring to the boil then partially cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
4. When cool enough to handle scoop the flesh from the squash and add to the pan. Blend the vegetables in a blender or food processor until smooth. (If you use a food processor, it is easier to process the vegetables with a little of the liquid, adding the remaining liquid to the processed vegetables to make the soup).
5. Taste for seasoning and serve hot with crusty bread.
TO PREPARE AHEAD - allow to cool, transfer to a suitable container, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat thoroughly to serve.
TO FREEZE - cool the soup at the end of stage 3. Pack and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight in the fridge.
TO COOK IN THE AGA - cook the squash as in stage 1 in a roasting tin on the second set of runners in the roasting oven for about an hour until tender. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion, carrot, celery and ginger and cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Pour on the stock, add the rosemary and season. Bring to the boil on the boiling plate for about 4 mins, cover and transfer to the simmering oven for about 20 minutes. Continue with the recipe.