I made butternut squash soup for the first time for my supper party on Wednesday night. (Basically I just wanted to use my grandmother’s Mason Ironstone soup bowls.)
It’s rare that I cook directly from recipes: I like to read cookbooks in bed or by the fire, as I would any book but, unless I am baking, which calls for precision in measurements, I generally just make things up in the kitchen as I go along. That’s why everything on LLG is my own method, unless otherwise credited. (Although, let’s face it, proper originality in the food world is almost impossible.)
Really, I had absolutely no idea how to go about this, but I was so stupidly busy this week – I did the shopping for supper at 11pm in a Sainsbury’s (as opposed to heading to, say, my local farmers market or secret market stall), on Monday night – that I just didn’t have time to look up any recipe.
My main concern was that it wouldn’t have enough flavour or texture. So on Tuesday night, the moment I got in the door from Ravinder’s dinner, I halved a large squash, scooped out the gunk, splashed it with olive oil, and roasted it in the oven for an hour or so until it was soft through. I left it to cool overnight & whacked it in the fridge in the morning.
Next evening I took a second small squash, hacked it into large cubes (didn’t bother to remove the rind – it’s a pain and takes forever) and boiled it up with some vegetable stock. Meanwhile I grabbed last night’s squash from the fridge. It looked pretty stringy, but I peeled off the skin and scraped the flesh into my Magimix. When the second squash was soft, I peeled that and added it to the food processor.
I whizzed it into submission for longer than you’d think so it was a super smooth bright orange paste. (Paranoid about the stringy bits.) Then I scooped it out into a large saucepan, poured in boiling water and whisked away to make a thick liquid, sort of half way between a puree and a soup. (Go slowly on the water – it’s easier to add than it is to take away). I added a large dessertspoon of Marigold Vegetable Bouillon Powder, black pepper and a little salt to round out the flavour, before simmering for five minutes.
Just before serving I added a slug of single cream and heated it through. That’s it, basically. One large squash + one small one made enough (just as a first course) for six people. Obviously if you wanted a thinner soup it would go further.
Vegetable stock – I like Marigold Vegetable Bouillon