This is such a perfect, comforting bowl of soup for these cool, crisp autumn days.
It has a lovely velvety texture, with a hint of nuttiness from the tahini, and spice from the harissa and cumin.
The seeded soda bread is made to go alongside it for a wonderful lunch.
For four helpings of squash soup take:
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 onion, diced
• 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon harissa spices
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons tahini
• Pre-roasted squash, such as onion squash or butternut squash. About 450g*
• 750ml vegetable stock
• Handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish, or herb of your choice
Pour two tablespoons of oil into a large saucepan and sauté the onion until softened and just beginning to brown around the edges. Then stir in the garlic, harissa spices, ground cumin and tahini. Sizzle for 1 minute.
Cut the roasted squash into cubes, add to the pan and pour in the stock.
Take a stick blender and blitz the soup until velvety smooth, or you can tip everything into a food processor. Heat the soup in the pan until it is piping hot and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
If you want to make this soup more of a hearty meal, add a tin of drained cannellini beans at the end.
Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle over the chopped herbs. Serve with a wedge of seeded soda bread – recipe below – and enjoy!
* Caroline’s Tip:
Any time you are making a dish with squash, pre-roast them whole on a baking tray in a 200°C oven. It will take about 40 – 60 minutes depending on the size of the squash, and they will need turning about halfway through. Once they’re cooled, you can easily scoop out the seeds, remove the skin if you want to and chop them up.
For 16 wedges of soda bread take:
• 200g plain flour
• 300g wholemeal flour
• 75g mixed seeds, such as sesame, sunflower, golden linseed or pumpkin
• A quarter teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
• 2 tablespoons black treacle
• 300ml warm water
• 150ml natural bio yoghurt
Heat the oven to 200°C.
Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. The bran will stay in the sieve, so tip that into the bowl, then mix in the seeds.
Spoon the treacle into a measuring jug and add the warm water. Stir until the treacle dissolves, then add in the yoghurt and whisk to blend everything together.
Pour the liquid on top of the flour mixture and use a table knife to mix all the ingredients together until you have a soft, sticky dough. Leave for five minutes so the bran absorbs the liquid.
Sprinkle a little flour onto the worktop and a baking tray. Tip out the dough, divide in two and shape into rounds, handling it lightly like scone dough. Then transfer the rounds to the baking tray, spaced apart.
Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, until the loaves are nice and golden and sound hollow when you knock on the bottom.
Leave the loaves to cool on a cooling rack.
Recipe by Caroline’s Cookery