Summer is over and autumn is well and truly here.
I have just had to put my heating on and packed away my summer attire.
People are moaning about the end of the summer and although I have really enjoy this summer and let’s face it was a great summer. I do like the changes in the seasons, I really do.
The beginning of autumn is my favourite time of the year. I love the changes in the colours, the way the leaves are golden, red and orange and the sun! There is something different about the autumn sun it has a lovely warmth and cosiness around it. Like it is trying to wrap you up, making sure you are warm and cosy.
The best thing about having 4 seasons is? 4 different sets of clothing!! New boots, new coat in the winter and new shorts and sandals in the summer. Do you know how jealous I use to be of you all when I was growing up in Bahrain? I remember one year (in the 80s) I so so wanted these red leather gloves (I know!) that I see everyone wearing in the magazine. I remember my mother saying “are you crazy! It is 35c outside what do you want with a leather gloves?” It is not that much fun when it’s hot every day.
As well as a new autumn wardrobe I am also looking forward to autumn eating. There are so many great things to cook with in autumn. Beetroot, Courgettes, Marrow, Apples, Pears, Plums, Mussels and Clams the list goes on. But as I just made an enormous amount of Butternut Squash soup I think we will start here.
Now I must warn you that this soup has a bit of a kick to it! But if you do not like hot food just don’t use the chilli.
To make 10 small bowls, you will need
1 whole butternut squash about 1kg – washed clean
1 red chilli, optional
1tbs Olive oil
1 onion – chopped
1lt hot stock – it is up to you if you want to use chicken or vegetable. I used chicken.
Preheat the oven to 180c
Cut the butter squash in half, I find that sawing it with a bread knife to be the easiest way of doing this. I always leave the skin on, just make sure you wash it first. Scoop out all the seeds and keep to one side. Then cut the squash in the even sizes and place in to a baking tray add in sliced chilli if using and drizzles with olive oil seasoned well with salt and pepper and give it a good rub. In it goes to the oven for 45minutes or until it has started to catch some colour.
In the mean time wash the reserved seeds and place it on a baking sheet and put it in to the oven for about 15 minutes keep an eye on it, you want it nice and toasted but not burnt. Remove and leave to cool.
About 5 minutes before the squash are done you can start frying the chopped onion in a large heavy based saucepan with a drop of oil till soft but not brown. Then add in the roasted squash mash it about a little, add in the hot stock and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Keeping an eye on it so that it does not catch. Remove the soup from the heat, using a hand held blender, blend the soup till smooth. Check seasoning adding salt and pepper as require. Served with the toasted butter squash seeds and a drop of cream if you can allow yourself to be naughty. Or freeze it in some old jar. To me that is the taste of autumn. Hope you like it too.
Now what can I do with beetroot and pears?