Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
This is no ordinary butternut squash soup. It has added red pepper and ginger, and needs no cream to improve its velvety texture. Roasting the squash, rather than boiling it in a pan, really brings out the flavour too.
Prepare ahead: Can be made up to 3 days ahead. Freezes well for up to 3 months.
Mary's Foolproof Tips: Ready-prepared butternut squash can be bought from supermarkets and makes this soup even quicker to prepare. If you grow your own, use young butternut squash as they are easier to peel.
- 1.5kg (3lb) peeled and deseeded butternut squash, cut into 3cm (1¼in) cubes (see tip)
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into cubes
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 5cm (2in) knob fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1.5 litres (2½ pints) vegetable stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. You will need a 3.5–4-litre (6–7-pint) deep-sided saucepan. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.
2. Tip the prepared squash into a large, resealable freezer bag with the onion, carrots and red pepper. Sprinkle with half the oil, season with salt and pepper and toss everything together until the vegetables are coated. Tip into a large roasting tin and spread out to form a single layer (use two roasting tins if necessary).
3. Roast in the oven for 40–45 minutes until tender and tinged brown. Drizzle over the honey 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
4. Place the large, deep-sided saucepan over a medium heat, add the remaining oil and, when it is hot, add the ginger and fry for a minute. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then stir in the roasted vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
5. Remove from the heat and, using a hand blender, whizz the mixture until smooth. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Return to the heat to warm through and serve hot with crusty bread.