Friday, January 12, 2018

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger Crème Fraiche – stirring stuff!

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I have a complete mental block when it comes to buttons on kitchen appliances. My particular downfalls are my electric beaters and my stick blender. When using either, I manage to successfully carry out the task I had in mind – whip cream for example, or blend soup. Easy enough! Job done!

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger Crème Fraiche

It’s the next bit I find tricky. I switch off the appliance and go to eject the beaters/blade but for some strange reason I am unable to carry out this simple step. Instead, I lift the appliance out of whatever mixture I have been working with – still dripping with cream/soup etc and ... switch... the... damn... thing... back... ON!
At this point, about a tablespoon of cream/soup is dispersed around the kitchen at a centrifugal force of OH MY GOD!!! Have you any idea how much kitchen/person a tablespoonful of liquid will cover? Worse, each droplet has a spinning trajectory which means that it will not only COVER every surface within a 10 foot radius, but it will actually get BEHIND stuff too.
I only ever make this mistake when I have just finished my makeup and blow-dried my hair and guests are about to arrive.
This evening I am taking no chances. My husband is on soup-blending duty and the ginger crème fraiche only requires stirring. Athough...there is still the cream to whip for the cherry profiteroles. After a glass of wine that will be tempting fate. Oh dear - fingers crossed!
Honey I Roasted the Squash!

For 8 servings you will need...
1 butternut squash weighing about 1.2kg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon runny honey
6 fat cloves of garlic, unpeeled

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion (think tennis ball-sized), finely chopped
2 sticks celery, peeled and finely chopped
1.5 L vegetable or chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 180°C
1                    Cut the butternut squash into quarters lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each wedge of squash into half across the middle. Place in a shallow roasting tray with the olive oil. Get your hands in there and anoint each piece of squash with the oil until liberally coated and glistening. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and a little salt and black pepper. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
2                    After 10 minutes, remove from the oven and add the carrots. Sprinkle the squash with balsamic vinegar and drizzle with honey, making sure each wedge gets a little bit of honey sweetness. Place the tray back in the oven and continue cooking for a further 25 minutes, adding the unpeeled garlic 10 minutes into this cooking time. When the squash is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 5 minutes.
3                    Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the onion and celery and cook gently without colouring until the onions are soft and translucent - about 5 minutes.
4                     Chop the roasted carrots and add to the saucepan. Remove the skin from the butternut squash before adding to the saucepan. Squeeze the garlic cloves gently until the skin bursts then add the soft garlic pulp to the saucepan. Finally add the stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, then blend. A stick blender is perfect for this job.
Ginger Crème Fraiche - stirred, not shaken!

For the ginger crème fraiche you will need...
6 tablespoons crème fraiche
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

Simply stir the two together and chill until needed.
Just before serving, swirl a little of the ginger cream into the soup.
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