I recently discovered the Horniman Museum farmers market. As a new South East London resident I still need to make a visit to Brockley Market though – love me some good street food! But when I was at the Horniman market the other week I picked up a trio of different squashes. I’m really loving squash at the minute. I think because it’s so comforting: it’s creamy and is complimented by warming spices. Perfect food for this cold weather! I used half of the squash to make a Spiced Squash Salad with Goats Curd and Pomegranate. The next day I used the remaining halves to make a soup.
This is another simple recipe for you today and makes enough for 4 portions – I like to make it on a Sunday and save the remaining portions for lunch during the week. Packed full of vitamins and low in fat this is a great cold defence soup. Well, I like to think so anyway! You can use any type of squash in this recipe, you could just use butternut squash if thats all you can get hold of.
– Half a butternut squash, de-seeded and cut into bite size pieces
– Half a red kuri squash, de-seeded and cut into bite size pieces
– Half a carnival squash, de-seeded and cut into bite size pieces
– 1 x large leek, sliced
– 1 x carrot, sliced
– 1 x small onion, chopped finely
– 1 x bay leaf
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1/2 tsp paprika
– 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
– Approx. 10 cardamon pods
– 1 x chicken stock cube
– 1 x vegetable stock cube
– Creme fraiche to serve
So I love squash but I hate prepping it! The first this you need to do is peel and de-seed your squash. I now have a method but let me know if you do it differently as I’d love to know any way to ease the pain! Firstly you need a large sharp knife. If I’m using a whole squash I cut the bottom off to create a flat surface. With the squash sat up-right on it’s flat bottom I use the knife to cut away the skin down one slice at a time and I work my way around the squash. Then half it, de-seed it and chop it up as needed. If I’m only using half of a squash I cut the squash in half, wrap and fridge what I’m not using and then follow the steps above.
Once your squash is peeled and de-seeded cut it into cubes and place into a roasting tin with the carrot and a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper for 15 minutes at 200°C. Then add all the spices and about 4 cardamon pods. Give it a good mix in the tray to make sure your veg is coated in all the nice spices. Place back into the oven for another 15 minutes.
Whilst your veg is roasting, lightly fry the leek, onion, bay leaf and the rest of the cardamon pods. You want the leeks and onion to begin to go translucent and not brown too much, so keep it on a low heat. Once done, take out the pods and bay leaf. At this point you need to make 800ml of stock up – I use one vegetable and 1 chicken stock cube.
Add your roasted veg, leeks, onion and stock to a large pan. You can either use a hand held blender to create a nice thick, smooth soup or you can use a standard blender and blend in batches as it won’t all fit in one go.
Once all blended I then heat through on the hob and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche. I love the aromatic flavour the cardamon pods add to this soup. It’s a perfect soup for a cold winters day.