How to cook : Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup

Hi!

It's winter and that means we can indulge in one of the best comfort foods - homemade soup! I won't buy soup from the shops anymore. It's laced with so much sodium it makes my heart stop just looking at the numbers. Even so-called 'healthy' soups are loaded with salt and sodium.

Making soup is so, so easy and rewarding. You can make up a batch and put some in the freezer for emergencies. Due to the amount of chopping, and using a food processor and/or a hand blender I wouldn't deem this method children safe, but I think this is a great way to encourage children to try new vegetables.

What you'll need:

  • olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • ground black pepper
  • fresh thyme
  • vegetable or chicken stock
 Ready, set, cook! 

Chop up your carrots into 1cm size pieces, so they will cook at the same speed and also be the right consistency to go into the food processor later on.

In the name of all that is holy, please be careful when preparing your squash!!!!

I find the best approach is to remove the top, then divide the squash into three parts. I rock my knife around the circumference by inserting the tip, pushing down vertically ever so slightly then bringing the handle down. I then take out the knife and place it at the end of where the previous slice was and do the same action again. It takes a little bit of time but I have yet to cut my fingers off with this method so I stick with it.

We don't want the seeds so scoop them out and either bin them or roast them later on. I'm not a seed fan and I don't know anyone that is either...

When you're ready to make your slices, make sure you use the 'bridge' to keep your fingers safe! If you need to push down on the top of your knife then use the palm of your hand and keep your fingers extended and well clear of anything sharp.

Sorry to nag and be a safety queen, but I care! :)

We're after 2cm pieces here, or there abouts. The flesh of the squash is a lot softer than a carrot so it needs to be bigger to hold it's shape during cooking. 






Place into a large roasting tray, cover with olive oil - but don't go nuts with it, we're still trying to watch our calories here! The tray should be big enough to allow room between each piece of squash. If they're all crammed together they won't cook evenly. Season with salt and pepper and put in the oven - 220 degrees for 25 minutes then turn down to 190/200 for the final 15 minutes.

Repeat the process with your carrots, but add a generous amount of fresh thyme along with the seasoning.


Wait 40 minutes, checking them once to turn them over and assess how much extra cooking time you'll need at the 25/30 minute mark.






et Voila!


It is very important to let the vegetables cool down completely before blending them down. It will damage your equipment and you'll probably end up burning yourself in the process too. 

So. Once we're safe to continue! 

Before I got my food processor - It's a Cooks Professional, if you're wondering - I used a hand blender with no problems. The only difference is with a hand blender most will only tolerate small amounts so you have to make portions which can be a pain in the backside. I love my food processor. 

We're using the blade attachment. Make up 1 pint of stock, using half a pint of boiling water and half a pint of cold water. Add two spatulas full of vegetables, cover and pulse 6-8 times.


Add two more spatulas and pulse again. Add a small amount of stock and pulse.


Keep repeating this process until you run out of vegetables; add 1/4 pint stock then switch to a continuous mix for 30 seconds. Give the mixture a stir, being sure to grab everything from the sides of the mixer. Add another 1/4 pint and mix for another minute or so. Once you notice that the consistency isn't thinning out any more it's time to stop and switch to a pan.







This is where you can make the soup your own. If you prefer a thicker soup then you will only need to add the remaining 1/2 pint and blend with a hand mixer until all the lumps are gone. You can adjust the seasoning to taste and add chilli flakes or more herbs if you like! To thin the soup out you will need to add an extra quarter to half a pint of water on top of the remaining stock, depending on your preference.

Be sure to pay attention when using your hand blender!! During the making of this soup I managed to paint my kitchen with soup because the blender got too close to the top of the soup. Fail. 






Souper-simple supply of warming and comforting goodness. 

If you have any questions please ask! 
I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.

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