Incredibly easy to make, this soup is always an instant hit. It’s comforting and velvety smooth – and great with a generous hunk of freshly baked crusty bread.
- 1 Crown Prince squash (if you can’t find it, use another variety)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- Rapeseed oil
- 2 onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 sprigs of savory or thyme (just the leaves, chopped)
- A good knob of butter
- 500ml (18fl oz) vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- A handful of pumpkin seeds, toasted
- A drizzle of chilli oil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180 fan/400°F/Gas Mark 6). Cut the squash into quarters, scoop out the seeds and set them aside. Put the squash in a tray with 2 garlic cloves, the thyme, salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil. Cover with foil and roast for 30–45 minutes until soft.
Sweat the onions, the remaining garlic and savory (or thyme) in a large pan with the butter until soft. This will only take a few minutes.
Remove the squash from the oven, scoop out the flesh and add to the pan. Cover with the vegetable stock and cook for 15–20 minutes, gently simmering. Finally, blitz the soup in a food processor, or with a hand blender, until smooth and season to taste.
Toast the pumpkin seeds that you set aside earlier in a hot dry pan for a couple of minutes.
To serve, pour into bowls and sprinkle the toasted pumpkin seeds on top with a drizzle of chilli oil, if using
Kitchen Tip: Cure your squash
Not everything tastes best when it’s freshly picked. Some crops, like squash, are much better when cured (left to sit around for a while). When it’s cut straight from the vine, squash is basically a big chunk of floury starch. To get the best out of it, store it in a dry place for 2–4 weeks so the sweetness of its flavour can fully develop. Don’t be tempted to leave it any longer than that though as the flavour will start to deteriorate.