This week's bounty from The Village Wholefood Store was three crown prince squashes and a couple of lovely heads of organic garlic. I've never used this squash before, with its grey green skin, but cutting it open revealed the familiar sweet orange flesh which compliments so many herbs and spices.
Winter is here and a mild kick of chilli and ginger makes me feel energised and warm and full of life. You may, of course, add more if you have hotter tastes and aren't cooking for my cafe.
Soup of the week at the cafe!
Three crown prince squashes
2-3 heads garlic
2 onions, finely chopped
Fresh ginger according to taste, grated
Dried chilli flakes, according to taste
2 vegetable stock pots or cubes in about a litre of stock
First chop the squash into quarters and scoop out the seeds. Lay out onto two baking trays along with the cloves of garlic. No need to peel them, once roasted they will just squeeze out. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Roast at 160 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Scoop out the flesh and put aside with the garlic.
Finely chop the onions and grate the ginger. Fry them on a medium heat in a large pot until soft then add the squash, garlic and stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste after a few minutes and add chilli and seasoning as needed.
Liquidise the soup until smooth. If it's too thick, add a little water or stock. Serve with a swirl of chilli oil or a sprinkle of chilli if you want to heat it up, a dollop of natural yoghurt if you want to cool it down, and the bread of your choice.
Seasonal, local and sweet with a warming kick, this soup is all kinds of good.