Roasted Butternut Soup with Apples and Bacon

Roasted Butternut Soup - trust in kim

Roasting the squash with apples and just one slice of bacon brings so much flavour to this soup. Mark Bittman wrote this recipe as a chowder, in which you leave everything whole, but I was really in the mood for a puréed soup. And it was lovely and velvety this way. I plan to try it again one day using different vegetables.

The cookbook this one came from is called The Food Matters Cookbook. I changed the recipe by using only one slice of bacon for flavour instead of four, omitting the oil because the bacon gave it some fat, and then I puréed it instead of leaving pieces whole.

To make this a vegan recipe you can easily omit the bacon and just drizzle the vegetables with a little olive oil before roasting.

It makes about 4 servings.

What you need:

  • 1 butternut squash, about 1 & 1/2 pounds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 slice bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 cup white wine or water
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Peel it with a vegetable peeler and cut it into cubes. Place the cubes on a deep roasting pan along with the onion, apples and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put the bacon pieces over top of the vegetables. Roast, stirring a few times throughout the process, for about 45 minutes. At this time the apples should be tender and the bacon should be crisp.
  3. Take the roasting pan out of the oven and stir in the sage and wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer everything to a large pot, unless your roasting pan can be put on the stove top. If so, continue the next step in the roasting pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the stock and cook until the squash begins to break up a little, about 25 minutes.
  5. Let the soup cool slightly before putting it into a blender in batches. Purée until it is very smooth, then return to the pot to reheat. Taste and adjust seasonings before servings.

This one is really good for leftovers too, but you might need to thin it out by adding a little stock, wine or water when reheating.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash with Burnt Eggplant and Pomegranate Molasses

yotam ottolengi butternut squash - trust in kim

Fall is here, so here’s a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe that is delicious and comfort-foody.  It isn’t the simplest recipe, as you have to bake the squash, burn the eggplant (doesn’t sound yummy but it is) and make it into a sauce, plus toast some nuts and seeds.  But if you love to cook you’ll probably enjoy making and eating this one.  The recipe is from Ottolenghi the Cookbook. (Thank you John for this fabulous surprise birthday gift – he saw me oohing and awing over it, and went back and bought it for me.)

I found it wasn’t necessary to add all the oil that the recipe called for, so I cut the oil content from 6 tablespoons to 3.  Feel free to add more oil if you wish.  The cookbook says to let the squash cool before serving, but I changed the order of the preparation so I could take the squash out of the oven last and serve it hot.

What you need for the squash recipe:

1 large butternut squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds

1 teaspoon nigella seeds (if you can’t find them it is still so delicious without)

3 tablespoons sliced almonds

1/2 cup basil leaves (I forgot to buy these! but it was good without them too)

salt and pepper

What you need for the burnt eggplant recipe:

1 medium eggplant

2/3 cup Greek yogurt (I used my regular yogurt)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1.5 teaspoons pomegranate molasses

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 clove garlic, crushed

salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Set the oven temperature to 350F.  Sprinkle the seeds and nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned.

2. To make the sauce begin by placing the eggplant over a flame – on your stove-top if you have gas, on a barbecue if you don’t, and in the oven if you have neither of those.  Burn the eggplant for 12-15 minutes, turning with tongs from time to time.  The skin should be dry and cracked, and you should smell a smoky aroma.  If you do this in the oven it will need a much longer cooking time.

3. Make a long cut through the eggplant and scoop out the flesh, doing your best to avoid the burnt skin.  Drain in a colander for 10 minutes, then chop coarsely. (you could get the eggplant into the oven now if you want-see step 5 )

4. Stir together the eggplant, yogurt, oil, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, parsley and garlic.  Mix together and add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Raise the oven to 425F.  Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut into wedges that are about 2cm thick.  Arrange the squash on a baking dish preferably with the skin side down and brush with a tablespoon of olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the wedges are tender and slightly browned.

6.  Arrange the squash slices on a serving platter and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Sprinkle the nuts and seeds on top, then garnish with the basil.  Serve with the sauce on the side.

Enjoy!