Squash, Stilton & sage soup

What I’ve done there is create possibly the worst food for me. Not in terms of nutrition or  expenditure, but just because I have a bit of a lisp. And every time I take this into work, I’m forced to reply to queries as to what it is with a whole load of “th”s.

In every other way though, this soup is very, very good.

Squash, Stilton & sage soup | The Littlest BakehouseIt’s no surprise to anyone that I get a bit giddy with food, and that the gourd family is the prime object of my affections. So when I spotted that New Covent Garden’s soup of the month was pumpkin, Stilton, and sage, I snapped it up and greedily snaffled it before they’d even announced it on social media.

And then I wanted more. Due to being A) inquisitive, and B) not made of money, I worked out the ratios from the packet and went on to make the best soup ever. The first time I used part butternut and part harlequin, but the second time was pure butternut and it was every bit as tasty. In fact, I’ve gone on to buy 3 more butternut squashes so I need never run out of them. Yep, I got weird looks at the checkout. Squash panic-buying is totally a thing.

The sweetness of butternut, the savoury touch of sage, and pure cheesiness from the Stilton combine to make a soup that’s truly comforting. A hug from the inside. It also doubles up perfectly as a sauce for pasta.

Additionally, it’s pretty cheap. One batch will cost less than £4* and provides six servings, which really puts the price of supermarket tubs of soup into perspective. If you chop the vegetables smaller, it’ll require less cooking time and therefore less fuel, too. It’s happy to be frozen, so can be made in advance and defrosted when you get out of the rain and need something quick, comforting and delicious. (I recommend these soup and sauce bags from Lakeland, which can stack in the freezer and be washed and reused.)

*Probably far, far less than this – I’m going by estimations and Waitrose prices. Continue reading

Carrot, orange & ginger soup

CarrotGingerOrangeAs part of Operation Eat on a Slim Budget (catchy name for it, huh?) , I’ve been working carrots into a lot of my food – they surely win the prize for most versatile vegetable. Although I love them for being a super cheap way of bulking up other foods, right here they deserve to be the star of the show, kicked up a notch and nudged into the spotlight.

It might be sunny outside for once, but I still feel like we’re firmly in soup season. The squeeze of citrus in this dish is my way of looking forward to sunnier months with optimism that they might not be too far away.  We’re almost there.

I also loved this recipe for roasted carrots with coriander dip…it was delicious.


Butternut squash, honey, and sage soup


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
Olive oil


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!