Squash and red pepper soup
We grow a lot of squash here, it seems to like our polytunnel. Our favourite so far is Burgess Buttercup, which grow squashes to a decent but manageable size and can be quite prolific. They also store beautifully, so we don’t tend to eat them until the dark days of January and February, when sometimes you just need a decent, cheering soup on a wild oul day.
I invented this recipe by accident when I started to follow a Mary Berry recipe and realised that I didn’t have the ingredients, then went totally off piste, as I’m wont to do…
All measures approx, preheat your oven to moderately hot.
A squash weighing about 2lb after being peeled and deseeded. (The one in picture is a Burgess, it weighed about 3 1/2 lb but I didn’t use all of it, some for curry later in the week…)
- 2 red peppers, yellow or orange will also do.
- 1 medium onion
- Juice and zest of half of lemon
- Salt (I use herbamare as it has lots of herbs in it) and black pepper
- Wee drizzle of decent honey or about a dessert spoon of soft brown sugar
- 3 Stock cubes, I used 2 chicken and 1 veg to make approximately 500ml of stock
- Veg oil, I use organic sunflower (not the cold pressed).
Peel your squash, chop into small pieces, about 1cm thick by about 3 to 4cm, (see pic, helps it to roast quicker)
Chop your onion fairly small and also your peppers.
Spread all the veg on to a baking tin or roasting tray and drizzle with some oil, not too much, sprinkle with salt and pepper and squidge it all together with your hands to mix well and evenly coat with oil. Make sure there is only one layer of veg, if possible, they need to roast well, use two trays if necessary, I do. Put in the moderately hot oven for about 20 mins, (this is a guide, our range is a bit unpredictable, it has to be fired up to the apocolyptic fires of hell in order to roast things!) then take out and lightly sprinkle with the honey or sugar. Put back in and keep checking until they smell wonderful and look roasted and lightly caramelised. Take out and leave to the side.
Whilst your veg is roasting, squeeze your half lemon into a measuring jug, remove any pips, and add the zest, add your stock cubes and make up the stock to about 500ml.
In a deep pan, add a little oil and tip your now roasted and softened veg into it warm through again, be very careful to watch it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan, then add your stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 mins. Take off the heat and blitz, I use a stick blender, thin with some boiling water, approximately another 500ml or to whatever thickness you prefer, check seasoning, simmer again for about 5 mins and serve, you could add some sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds, maybe a wee bit of lemon zest or chilli flakes for garnish.