Butternut Squash Soup
1 Medium to large butternut squash ( well this depends on the average you have produced on your plot)
2 Large potatoes ( the floury variety)
1 litre ( 2 pints) chicken or vegetable stock
1 medium Chilli pepper ( my choice is for Joe’s Long, I find them reliably medium hot even in cool years)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely chopped coriander
2 – 3 cloves of garlic
150 ml ( ¼ pint double cream) if you wish you can add milk to deduce the fat content.
A dollop of crème fraishe to garnish.
• Wash and cut the squash in half lengthways. Remove the seeds.
• Peel the garlic cloves and put them in the seed spaces of the squashes to raost.
• Roast the squash – oven 180ºC no 5 gas for 25 to 30 mins.
• In the meantime, wash, peel and cut the potatoes into cubes.
• Put the potatoes into a large saucepan with the stock, chilli and seasoning and bring to the boil. Simmer gently.
• When the squash is cooked and soft, scoop it (with the roasted garlic), into the saucepan. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 10 minutes or so to blend the flavours.
• Put through a blender or blitz with a hand blender until smooth. If you don’t have electronic equipment, just mash the ingredients well.
• Correct the seasoning to taste and serve.
• Garnish with chopped coriander and a dollop of crème fraishe
• Serve with hot crusty brown or white bread.
Helen’s Pumpkin and Coconut Soup
A totally delicious soup from my friend – Helen Yates
1 medium sized pumpkin or squash
A little olive oil
1 stalk of lemon grass
A tin of coconut milk
1 litre (2 pints) vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
• Peel and roughly chop the pumpkin or squash.
• Drizzle with olive oil and roast but don't let it go black.
• Remove from oven and put in a large saucepan with a bruised stalk of lemon grass.
• Cover with a light vegetable stock and simmer until the pumpkin flesh is really soft.
• Remove the lemon grass and liquidise the pumpkin and stock, if it looks too thick add a touch more stock.
• Put the lemon grass back in and add a tin of coconut milk, then heat gently. Remove the lemon grass before serving.
• Serve with hot crusty bread – delicious!
Squash or pumpkin and Chicken Breast Parcels
This is a low fat main dish par excellence, but very, very tasty and satisfying.
Per person you will need:
1 chicken breast – without skin – left whole
3 slices of butternut squash (1cm thick - ½inch) skinned and sliced – OR - use the flesh from a range of squashes or pumpkins instead with excellent results
1 piece of fruit – a pear, apple or peach / nectarine – washed and sliced – leave the skin on.
3 – 4 medium mushrooms – wiped and sliced
3 – 4 mini tomatoes or one regular sliced
Herbs – be generous (my choice is for a mixture of lemon thyme, tarragon and marjoram with parsley, but do use you own favourites)
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
A knob of butter – if you must!
• You will need a sheet of tinfoil or greaseproof paper for each portion. Spread it out and add the prepared ingredients – it really doesn’t matter what order you add them to the pile.
• Season well and add your chosen herbs.
• Close the parcel and put in an oven proof dish.
• Bake in a preheated oven 180ºC, No 5 gas for about an hour.
• Remove from the ‘parcel’ onto the plate and serve with mashed or baked potatoes and green vegetables.
Note This makes an excellent supper party dish wrapped in greaseproof paper where each guest has their own parcel.
• The flavouring ingredients can be changed – spices and chillies, peppers, curry spices, a different range of fruit, grated lemon or orange rind, etc. You can put sliced or tiny potatoes into the parcel. They will take longer to cook and will absorb the juices from the ingredients making a drier dish but, the upside is that the whole dish is cooked together.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Roasted Potatoes – this recipe came from Philip Drew, but I can’t find his original so this is my take on his idea
1 – 2 medium onions - red onions for preference – peeled and cut into chunks
½ kilo suitable roasting potatoes – washed, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 medium butternut squash – sliced, peeled and deseeded then cut into chunks
1 garlic bulb – separate the cloves and skin them
A good dollop of top quality olive oil
A good sprinkle of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Some sprigs of rosemary
• Prepare the vegetables.
• Heat the oil in a roasting pan until hot - 200ºC, No 6 gas
• Toss the prepared squash, onions and potatoes in the hot oil.
• Add the seasoning, herbs and garlic and return to the oven.
• Cook for a further 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are golden brown and crunchy ( this will depend on the size you have cut them.
• Serve immediately with any roast meat or with a nut roast.
Note – an excellent choice for Christmas dinner.
* Butternut Squash Soup
* Helen's Pumpkin & Coconut Soup
* Squash or Pumpkin Chicken Parcels
* Roasted Butternut Squash with Roasted Potatoes