Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Well this is a new combination of flavours for me, Butternut Squash and Pear together in a soup.

Autumn is here, and using these two autumnal flavours in a hot warming dish, believe me, it is well worth the effort. The finished dish is smooth,creamy and spicy just the thing to serve up on these chilly days. It would make a nice starter to a meal at any dinner party or even  to serve up as a starter choice on Christmas Day. It is certainly a Soup to serve at any Halloween celebration.

It can be made a few days in advance or frozen in containers and reheated.

Ingredients
Serves: 8
1 (1kg) butternut squash
50g unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh root ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1L chicken stock
2 firm ripe pears – peeled, cored and diced
125ml single cream

Preheat an oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5. Line a swissroll tin with baking parchment.
Cut squash in half lengthways; discard seeds. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on the prepared tin. Roast in preheated oven until very soft, about 45 minutes.

Scoop the pulp from the peel, and reserve.

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder and salt. Cook and stir until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the pot, and bring to the boil. Stir in the pears and the reserved squash, and simmer until the pears are very soft, about 30 minutes.

Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender. Puree in batches until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, stir in the cream, and reheat.

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Windfall Apple Chutney

Windfall Apple Chutney

Windfall Apple Chutney

Today I was lucky enough to collect a basket full of windfall apples from my friends garden. I decided to have a day in the kitchen to use them up. Chutney was the first item on the list. I used the recipe below but did have to make some adaptations along the way.

The Chutney has turned out to be sweet so if I were to make it again I would consider cutting down on the sugar. I also reduced the vinegar content by a quarter as it seemed it would be far too runny and difficult to boil down

However,once made it is a nice consistency and nice tasting. It can be served with pork as an alternative to Apple sauce or served with your favourite cheeses.

Leave it in the jars to mature for a month or two and it should keep for up to a year unopened. Once open remember to store in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

1½Kg cooking apples or windfall
, peeled and diced
750g light muscovado sugar
500g raisins
2 medium onion
, finely chopped
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
700ml cider vinegar

Combine all the ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over a medium heat, then simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for until thick and pulpy. ( this could take anywhere from 50 min to a couple of hours)

Remove from the heat, leave to cool and transfer to sterilised, clean, dry jars and seal.