Now that Halloween is approaching it's time to enjoy the vast array of vegetables that are in season. This time of year evokes memories of golden leaves scattered on the footpath and being settled into a school routine. But most of all it reminds me of piping hot meals, that warm me right through and are easy to make and not in the slightest bit fussy. This is a beautiful soup that has a sweetness to it unlike any other, I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
1kg Pumpkin peeled or 1 large butternut squash, unpeeled
1 Onion cut into wedges
3 Cloves garlic, unpeeled
Oil for drizzling
125g Pancetta or smoked bacon pieces
400ml Chicken stock
Heat the oven to 200C/ 180C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Cut the pumpkin or squash into 3cm slices; remove the seeds.
Put the pumpkin onto a baking tray with the onion wedges and garlic, and drizzle with oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Add the pancetta (keep in a separate corner of the baking tray). Bake for a further 20 minutes until the pumpkin is soft inside and brown around the edges. Reserve the pancetta.
Remove the pumpkin skin, place the flesh in a food processor along with the onions and garlic (squeeze with garlic from each of the cloves). Add the stock and milk. Blend until smooth, add a little extra milk if needed.
Place in a pan, season and heat to taste, and serve with pancetta, crispy bread and easy homemade butter.
Good Food, Shared: Butternut squash soup
Bord bia: Calender of availability guide for fruit and vegetables.