Craig Revel Horwood's spooky soup for Halloween
Craig Revel Horwood shares his frightfully delicious recipe for spooky boo butternut squash soup.
Spooky Butternut Squash
Serves 6Prep: 40 minutesApprox cooking time: 1 hour
Ingredients: If serving in pumpkins you will need:4 x miniature pumpkins about 6cm in diameter, washed and driedOlive oil for drizzlingSea salt and pepper
Soup:2 butternut squash, about 1.2kg, peeled and deseeded, cut into 4cm cubes2 tbsp olive oil1 tbsp butter2 onions, diced2 carrots, grated2 tsp freshly grated gingerSprinkle of dried marjoram4 sprigs scented thyme6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced5 jalapeños slices, from a jar3 mild red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped1-litre hot chicken stock2 x 300ml pots crème fraîche, one pot to blend in soup and one-pot reserved for serving at the end
To serve:4 thick slices granary or wholemeal breadHalloween cutters of your choice (optional)
Method:1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.2. For the soup: Toss the butternut squash in a large roasting tin with 1tbsp oil. Roast for 30 minutes until golden and soft, turning once during cooking.3. If serving in miniature pumpkins: Reduce the oven to 180C/gas 4. Cut the tops of each pumpkin as if you are carving a Halloween pumpkin. Pull the carved top off, cutting off the flesh from inside the lid. Make sure you have carved a wide enough diameter in the pumpkin to make it usable as a bowl.4. Scoop out the pulp and seeds of the pumpkin (see tips below). Brush the insides and the inside of the pumpkin lid with oil and season with salt and pepper. Try not to get oil on the outsides of the pumpkin as this leads to charing on the outside, this is fine but the pumpkins will not look so pretty.5. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the inside is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while finishing the soup.6. For the soup: While the mini pumpkins are cooking (if using) melt butter with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, stir in onions, carrots, ginger, a sprinkle of marjoram, thyme sprigs, garlic cloves, jalapeños and 2 chillies.7. Cover and cook on a very low heat for 15-20 minutes until the onions are completely soft.8. Tip the butternut squash into the pan, add 1-litre hot chicken stock and 300ml crème fraîche. Whizz with a stick blender until smooth. For a really smooth texture transfer the soup into a liquidiser and blitz it in batches.9. Season to taste.10. Serve ladled inside the mini pumpkins (if using) or bowls and garnish with a swirl of creme fraiche, reserved chillies and roasted pumpkin seeds (if using).11. If liked toast or chargrill sliced bread and cut out Halloween shapes to serve with the soup.
Tips:Pumpkin seeds can be washed, dried and tossed in oil and seasoning of your choice and roasted at 180C/gas 4 for 10 minutes.Any leftover pumpkin flesh can be chopped and frozen and added to soups, stews or pies at a later date.Use vegetable stock to make a veggie soup.Offcuts of the bread can be made into breadcrumbs and frozen.