The weather can’t make up it’s mind.
The air is either sprightly with optimistic Spring light or it’s dull with thick, marbled Winter skies threatening rain.
The kind of weather where you spend an ungodly amount of time considering putting clothes outside to dry but you fear them getting drenched.
But alas, gloomy unpredictable weather provides a welcome gateway into the warm embrace of a soup. The kind you eat wearing thick socks and watching reruns of TV shows.
My show of choice forever being Sex and the City.
My soup of choice in weather like this will always have a warm soul. Thick and creamy with an interesting spice (not hot) twist. I don’t look for neck quaking spice with soups like this, but more a warm whisper of spice that makes you close your eyes and go ‘mmmm’ with every spoonful.
This is only enhanced when the ingredients are roasted as opposed to boiled. If you’ve read my blog before, you know roasting my soup ingredients is always my preferred method for ease, but ease makes room for necessity here. The oven gives the ingredients a gentle blister which only ads to the depth and meatiness of the soup.
I conjured up this recipe when I came in from a long dog walk, which started off as a beautiful, refreshing Spring like walk which dramatically turned into a drenched downpour of a slog. Waffle and I were already halfway around the lake at this point and the only way out is through, so we had to finish the walk in it’s entirety, both soaked on arrival back in the apartment.
This recipe warmed my bones.
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Grab a butternut squash and cut off the long neck bit so all you have is the bulb (keep the neck for other things like these Butternut Burgers with Chorizo and Halloumi which use up the neck as little burgers!)
Carefully peel the round bulb bit and take out the seeds. Detach all of the seeds from the weird orange tangly web thing and keep the seeds to one side.
SIDE NOTE – if you randomly have a neck bit leftover from something else, totally do this recipe using that and grab some pumpkin seeds from a packet for the Brown Butter Seeds.
Roughly chop up the squash flesh and fling it in a roasting tin.
Throw in three garlic cloves and two peeled and roughly chopped carrots.
Coat the squash, carrot and garlic in a little olive oil. Scatter over some salt, pepper and a generous spoonful of za’atar mix. You can buy this from most supermarkets these days for a really reasonable price.
Slip in the oven for about 40 minutes. After this time, take the vegetables out of the oven and turn it up all the way.
Drop a vegetable stock cube in a blender and pour in about 100ml of boiling water from a kettle.
Carefully transfer the squash, carrot and garlic into the blender of water. Lid on. BLITZ.
Keep this to the side while you make your seeds.
Put the seeds from earlier on the same baking tray you had the squash in, give them a shake and slide in the hot oven.
Drop 50g of butter in a pan and put on the hob on a medium heat. The fats will soon separate and it will begin to froth and bubble.
Keep it frothing for about 10 minutes and the minute it starts to go a slight caramel brown colour, take off the heat.
Now take the seeds out of the oven and carefully scrape them into the butter. Give them a stir and allow them to be coated in the syrupy brown butter.
Serve the soup with a big sexy spoonful of the Brown Butter Seeds and a little pinch of sesame seeds for good luck.