There are some weeks when you just need to give yourself an easy life, weeks when the best thing you can do is make enough food for five nights of dinners and then forget about cooking for a while. The kind of thing that you can put in the microwave, safe in the knowledge that by the time you’ve kicked off your shoes and unwound your scarf, stashed your handbag away and eaten a cheeky biscuit, that microwave will ding! at you and deliver something delicious.
This week has been one of those weeks, and this soup has been that dependable dinner. In the past seven days, Lizzi and I have moved in together, bought everything we need for our flat, and started off on new life adventures (I started a new job, and Lizzi started at Leiths School of Food and Wine). It’s scary, and it’s wonderful, and we’re loving every minute.
But at the end of the working day, after half an hour jammed into a tube carriage, with your nose alarmingly close to a stranger’s armpit, nothing could be more comforting than something warm and sweet. Luckily, this butternut, honey, and sage soup is just the ticket.
1 medium butternut squash, cut in half lengthways and seeds removed
1 tbsp honey (or 2, if you’ve got a sweet tooth)
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
6 sage leaves
1 medium onion
3 cups/750ml chicken or vegetable stock (use only 2 cups/500ml if, like me, you prefer your soup thick)
Salt and pepper to season
1) Place butternut squash halves, garlic slices, and 3 sage leaves, torn into halves, in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in pre-heated oven (180C) for 45 minutes, or until the butternut is soft.
2) While the butternut roasts, dice and fry your onion in a casserole dish until it is soft and just about turning golden. Turn down the heat and add the honey, stirring to ensure an even distribution. If you reach this point long before the butternut is due to cook, turn off the heat and leave the onion to stand – the honey doesn’t need to cook.
3) When roasted, remove the skin from the butternut – it should come away quite easily – and add to the pan with the garlic, and sage. Add stock (use 2 cups rather than 3 if you prefer your soup thick), and the remaining sage leaves, torn, and blend until smooth, using a hand blender. Season to taste.
I’d recommend you serve it up with warm homemade bread with lashings of butter!