Sometimes I buy ingredients and then wonder how to cook it. This used to happen on a regular and by the time I decide from a list of recipe, the vegetable would have said bye bye to this world. Finally I purposefully stopped buying such vegetables and even different types of lentils and this worked well and I was happy that one headache was dealt with.
Till a few days ago when my hand accidentally picked up a lovely butternut squash from the grocery store near home. Now my mind wandered from soup, snacks,breads and even kheers!. I know, some of you might have started laughing already about how undecisive I am . But this status went on till I chanced upon a cookery show on TV where the host - a lovely model turned chef/restaurateur was cooking a roasted pumpkin soup. It looked soooo hassle free that I decided to try it with butternut squash.
And not just that a little search in my cooking bible FoodNetwork and up popped Ina Garten's roasted apple and butternut squash soup. Both recipes are almost similar and I incorporated the easier methods from both and got a perfect soup to beat the chills.
Butternut Squash/ Pumpkin : 1 medium -large size
Onion: 1 big one
Apple: 1 medium- big
Garlic: 1-2 cloves
Salt , Pepper : as per taste
Fresh/Frozen Thyme : as much as u want
Chilli Flakes: as per taste
Olive Oil: for drizzling
Vegetable Stock: 3 cups +
Roasted Cashews / Other nuts/Scallion greens : for garnishing (optional)
Halve the squash lengthwise, remove the seeds and other fleshy things, slash it lightly with knife and keep it ready for baking in a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and pepper and chilli flakes and also add as much thyme in and around the squash. Drizzle with oil and make sure the oil and spices go deep inside the marks made.
Drizzle onion and apple with olive oil and add to the baking sheet. Cover garlic cloves with foil and place in baking sheet.
Roast the items in a preheated oven at 200 C for about 25-35 minutes until the juices burst out of the apple
and the squash becomes fork tender. In between make sure to check the garlic within the first 10-15 minutes and remove it from the oven as it might burn. You can even roast the garlic directly above the gas flame or saute it as you like.
Take out the roasted items and let these cool a bit. Scoop out the fleshy tender part of the squash onto a blender jar. Squeeze out the onion and garlic from the skins and ad it to the jar. Apple you can either remove the peel or simply deseed and add to the blender.
Once the items are ready in the blender/mixer/ food processor bowl, add in enough vegetable stock and blend to a fine puree.
Add the puree to a deep bowl and add more stock and heat it on medium. Bring it to a slight boil and then let it simmer till your choice of consistency is reached. Adjust the salt and spices or add more seasonings of your choice. The soup thickens on sitting.
Warm it little if serving at a later time. Serve garnished with more thyme, roasted nuts, scallion greens etc.
A hearty soup to beat the chills. Its very filling and you can do more to this basic simple recipe. Like adding your choice of spices, additional ingredients like oats, rice etc and turn it into a hearty meal itself. You can avoid apple and instead add honey or stevia or your choice of sweetner and even cream .