Only a few days off payday, and holed up in my flat with a stinking cold, I decided to raid the cupboard and see what I could find that would be quick, easy and filling.
Sister 2 had told me chilli was good for fending off the common cold… or was that garlic? Either way, I fancied something with a bit of spice to clear the airways. This is what I came up with – a classic winter warmer butternut squash soup with chilli.
2 medium butternut squashes, quartered
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 fresh chilli or 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves
1 large onion
300ml chicken or vegetable stock
Salt, pepper, crusty bread and creme fraiche
- Place the squash in a large baking tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with cumin. Bake for 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft
- Meanwhile, place the onion, garlic, chilli and a splash of oil in a processor and blitz until it forms a thick paste
- Add the paste to a pan with a splash of oil, and fry on a low heat for about 15 mins. This is important to bring out the aroma and taste. Do not brown the paste
- Once the squash is cooked, leave to cool and then scoop the soft flesh out of the skin, and place in a large saucepan
- Add the stock, onion mix, and blitz with a food processor until the mixture is smooth
- Boil until the soup has thickened
- Flavour with sea salt and pepper and a dollop of creme fraiche
This warming recipe is perfect for winter evenings by the fire.
I ended up with heaps of it left over, so kept some in the fridge. A little bored of soup, I decided to use it to make a thick sauce for a pork chop. I added even more salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of apple sauce, then cooked the chop in it, reducing the sauce on a high heat. Maybe it was because it had sat in the fridge allowing the flavours to combine, but the slightly spicy sweet sauce was, dare I say it, even nicer than the soup!