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Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Honey & Cheddar Croutons




Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Honey & Cheddar Croutons


ingredients:

For the Soup:
  • 1.5kg butternut squash, halved and unpeeled (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 bulb of garlic, whole and unpeeled
  • 2 small red peppers, halved and trimmed
  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 knob of preserved ginger root
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1.25 litres vegetable stock (5 1/2 cups)
  • sea salt to taste
For the croutons:
  • 2 TBS liquid honey, warmed slightly
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small rustic baguette, sliced thinly
  • a couple of tablespoons of crumbled strong cheddar cheese
To garnish:
  • dairy sour cream (optional)

instructions:


  1. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Line a baking tray (with sides) with baking paper.  Cut your squash in half down the centre and place cut side down on the baking paper.  Place the garlic bulb  beside it on the tray.  Cover the whole thing tightly with foil and place in the preheated oven to roast for 1/2 hour.
  2. At the end of half an hour add the peppers, cut sides up and the onion wedges.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Sprinkle with the ground cumin and the chili flakes.
  3. Return the baking sheet to the oven, uncovered, and roast for a further 30 minutes or so until the butternut squash is tender.
  4. Scoop out the seeds from the butternut squash and discard.  Scrape the flesh into a blender.  Add the peppers, onion. Cut the garlic in half and squeeze the soft flesh into the blender.  Add half of the vegetable stock and the knob of preserved ginger.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a large saucepan.  Add the remaining stock and gently heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.
  5. While the soup is heating, whisk together the oil and honey for the croutons.  Toss the baguette slices in this and place  the slices in a single layer on a paper lined baking tray.  Sprinkle with the crumbled cheddar and bake for 10 minutes in the heated oven until golden brown.
  6. Ladle the hot soup into heated bowls, garnish with some sour cream, swirling it through. Float a couple of croutons on top and serve immediately.



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