This is a lovely creamy comforting soup that tastes naughtier than it is. I sort of discovered accidentally on one of my cooking afternoons.
The cumin and garlic add extra depth to the flavour in this traditional winter warmer that will impress the most sophisticated palates while remaining a simple dish.
Though the squash and garlic take a bit of pre-cooking it is well worth it – and can be easily dressed up as a dinner party starter or just a filling supper dish served with a wedge of warm bread on a cold winters evening.
And with Halloween nearly upon us the supermarkets stock, for a very short time unfortunately, pumpkins which are a great substitute for butternut squash.
Easy roasted cumin, garlic and butternut squash soup with crème fraiche
serves 4 (depending on how thick you like it)
1 butternut squash
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
half a teaspoon of ground cumin
a squeeze lemon juice
200ml tub of crème fraiche
1 cup stock or water (to taste)
3 or 4 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
thinly sliced onions to garnish
Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a spoon – and then score a criss cross pattern on the flesh. place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and chuck in the cumin seeds. Put the whole garlic cloves on the bottom of the pan – there is no need to peel them.
Roast in the oven on a medium setting, I put mine in on gas mark 5 (375°F, 190°C), for about an hour, or until the flesh feels soft and the top has caramelised a bit.
When done – scoop out the flesh and place into a liquidiser with the crème fraiche (you can save a dollop for serving if you wish) and blend – adding water or stock until its the consistency desired (I don’t like mine too thick or it feels like baby food). Warm a saucepan and add a tiny bit of oil and gently fry the ground cumin and a few more cumin seeds then add the squash mixture and the peeled roasted garlic and warm gently. At this point adjust the seasoning – you will probably need quite a bit of salt and ground black pepper and about a tablespoon of lemon juice. This is totally up to you – adjust the flavour to suit how tart you like it.
To finish fry some thinly sliced onions and place gently on the top. You could also use crispy bacon or just add a few chopped cumin leaves instead.
by Alison Christie