Chilli, fresh herbs & cayenne-spiked toasted seeds
A bit of an old favourite of mine, this wonderful soup is a real celebration of the humble eating apple. Making the most of the incredible depth of flavour achieved by roasting, this super-comforting soup is the perfect festive bowlful.
1 HOUR 30 MINUTES
1 butternut squash (1.2kg)
3 Cox’s or Braeburn eating apples
1 large onion
1-2 fresh red chillies
4 cloves of garlic
1 pinch of coriander seeds
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 pinch of sweet cayenne pepper
1 litre organic vegetable or chicken stock
150ml single cream (optional)
edible flowers or flowering herbs (optional)
♥ Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Wash the squash, then carefully cut it in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into 2.5cm chunks and put them in your largest roasting tray. Peel and quarter the apples, removing the cores, peel and roughly chop the onion, then add both to the tray. Halve, deseed and add the chillies, then squash and add the unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, add the coriander seeds and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then strip over the rosemary leaves. Toss well, then roast for around 45 to 50 minutes, or until it’s all cooked through, intensely golden and delicious. Toss the pumpkin seeds with salt, pepper, a little oil and the cayenne. Spread out on a baking tray and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, then put aside.
♥ Squeeze the soft roasted garlic flesh into a blender, discarding the skins. Spoon in half the roasted veg, add half the stock, put the lid on, cover with a tea towel, then, holding the lid in place, blitz until smooth. Pour into a large pan, blitz the rest of the veg and stock, then add that to the pan with most of the cream (if using). Bring to a simmer on a medium-low heat, then taste and season to perfection, adjusting the consistency with a little more stock, to your liking.
♥ Divide the soup between warm bowls and add an extra swirl of cream for a retro finish, then sprinkle over the toasted seeds. You can also delicately decorate with flowering herbs or edible flowers, if you like. Good with warm crusty bread.
NUTRITION PER SERVING
200 kcal; 7.9g fat (1.2g saturated); 7g protein; 26.9g carbs; 16.9g sugars; 1.2g salt; 5.9g fibre.