I love Autumnal flavours, but I don't love Autumn at all.
Yes it can be very romantic. Strolling through a park on a crisp Autumn day, all wrapped up warm while crunching through leaves. Everything is golden and we still have the fun of Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night to come.
But it's all just a distraction really. A distraction from the dark nights encroaching more and more into the daytime. A distraction from the damp weather, the dropping temperatures and people sniffing and coughing all around us.
I suppose we romanticize it just to get through it all. Through the damp, cold and dark days of Autumn and Winter. Spring seems so far away.
Oh jings I hope I haven't depressed you? I've depressed myself!
Maybe I should just concentrate on what the new season brings. There's butternut squash, beetroot, aubergine and fresh crunchy apples. There's cabbage and kale and interesting wild mushrooms. There's courgettes, leeks and wonderfully sweet parsnips.
Then there's mugs of creamy hot chocolate and big bowls of soup. And there's hearty stews and casseroles and pies. Yes, let's concentrate on that!
Let's start with soup. A deeply rich butternut squash and tomato soup.
Creamy Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup
A rich and full flavoured Autumnal soup of roast butternut squash, onion and tomatoes.
- 1 butternut squash, sliced, de-seeded and cubed
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic
- a glug of olive oil
- 400 tin tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- a good grinding of salt and pepper
- 1 pint/½ litre/2 ½ cups vegetable stock
1. Preheat the oven to 220c/200c fan/425f/gas mark 7.2. Toss the butternut squash, onion and garlic in the olive and spread across a roasting pan Roast for 20-25 minutes until soft and charred at the edges.3. Add the roast veg, tomatoes, tomato puree, spices, seasoning and stock to a blender and whizz until smooth. If you don't have a powerful blender like mine, you could heat in a pan and whizz with a hand blender or heat and mash. You won't get the same smooth finish, but it will still taste great.4. Serve and enjoy!
Yield: Serves 4
|photo: Food to Glow|
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