Leek and Butternut Squash Soup
Leek and Potato Soup is a number one classic in our house, but we wanted something different, so this time we teamed them up with what I call the perennial pumpkin – butternut squash. Come the autumn I will try the same recipe with the traditional lantern pumpkin, but right now what’s on offer is a velvety smooth, peachy yet faintly green, very good soup indeed. Great for veggies, great for those trying to cut down on fat (aren’t we all?). Hope you like it.
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If you’re using the pristine-looking leeks from the supermarket, don’t be deceived: minute particles of sandy grit can lurk beneath the tightly clustered layers – so begin by trimming off the roots plus most of the very green part and the tough outer layers.
Then using a small sharp knife, slit the lengthways to about halfway down, then fan the layers out under a cold running tap to wash them. Then finish slicing them lengthways and slice them across into approx. 1 inch (2.5cm) slices.
Next chop the onion (same-size slices) followed by the squash into 1 inch (2.5cm) cubes. Now melt the butter in a large saucepan, add all the vegetables, stir them well and add some salt. Pop a lid on and, keeping the heat low, allow the vegetables to sweat and release some of their juices for 20 minutes.
After that add the stock and the milk and a little freshly milled pepper, then return the lid and, still keeping the heat low let the soup simmer very gently for another 20 minutes. When the time’s up, pour the whole lot into a liquidiser and whiz to a smooth puree (you may have to do this in two batches so have a bowl to hand).
Then return it to the pan, add the chives and re-heat gently without letting it boil – no more than a simmer.
Serve the soup in warmed bowls with some good bread, also served warm.
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Using the best of winter's root vegetables, this hearty soup is packed with nutritional goodness and will make a good lunch or supper for one.
Pumpkin and other squashes make excellent soup in the autumn...you could even try serving this in the hollowed-out pumpkin shell for visual appeal, perfect for Halloween!
One of the bane's of any dieter's life is that feeling of hunger. So this gorgeous, fat-free soup could be the answer: it's filling and satisfying without piling on the pounds.
This is perfect for winter, when celery and celeriac are at their height of seasonality, having had a good frost to intensify their flavour. Serve with crusty bread.
A lovely fresh-tasting soup this. You can choose the cheese here – basically whatever you have: Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Cheddar – but this one’s made with Parmesan simply because it’s always there to hand. Not much cheating, in fact, just a bag of fresh, r
This is a light and delicate soup that is best made with the dark, flat open-gilled mushrooms – which have more flavour to them than the closed button variety.
Celery is an underrated vegetable - make sure you eat it in the winter months when it has the best flavour and, preferably, after a frost. One of the very best soups you can make.
It's hard to believe that such a quick recipe could produce such a delicious result, but it does!
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