If you’ve enjoyed a bumper crop of lovely winter squashes and pumpkins, then you may be wondering what on earth you are going to do with them all. Here are a few foodie suggestions.
Squash, Cheddar & Thyme Soup
This is a deliciously warming, comforting soup. Any variety of squash or pumpkin will work. If using pumpkin, you may need to season a little more generously as it can be somewhat bland.
- 1 squash weighing approx 1.5kg, peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- Handful of fresh thyme leaves (picked off the stalk)
- 150g cheddar, grated
- Veg stock (I use stock cubes)
- Knob of butter
- Splash of single cream
- First, put the squash in a roasting pan, drizzle oil over them and season with salt before roasting them for approx 30-40 mins at 200c. You want them to be soft enough to easily slide a knife into, but not turning brown at the edges.
- Once the squash is roasted, remove from the oven.
- Warm some oil and a knob of butter in a heavy based pan. Add the onion and gently cook until the onion is translucent, but not brown.
- Once the onion is translucent, add the squash and cover with veg stock.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, add half the thyme leaves and use a blender to liquidise the soup.
- Add the cheddar and return to a low heat. Whisk until the cheese has fully melted into the soup.
- Add a splash of cream, season with sea salt and add the final half of thyme leaves and serve.
Squash & Chickpea Tagine:
Definitely choose a nice flavoursome squash for this recipe. Uchiki Kuri would be a good choice for this recipe as it retains its texture quite well. You could also use Sweet Dumpling squash, but if you do go easy on the honey and apricots as it’s quite a sweet variety. The ever versatile Butternut Squash will work well too!
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1 medium squash, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 can chickpeas
- 200g dried apricots
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- Pinch of saffron
- 1x 400g tin chopped tomato
- Half 500g pack passata
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
- Veg stock
- Mix the squash and spices
- Soak the apricots in boiling water until tender (cover them well and reserve the water for the cous cous)
- Place a casserole pot (Le Creuset style) on the hob on a medium high heat and wait for it to heat up
- Add a generous splash of olive oil and fry the onions and garlic until they start to soften.
- Add the squash to the pot and add the chick peas, chopped tomatoes and passata.
- Add enough veg stock to cover the mixture and pop the lid on.
- After 15 mins add the apricots, saffron and honey.
- Cook on a low heat for 30-45 mins stirring occasionally until the squash is cooked through.
- Add the coriander, stir and serve with cous cous.
Garlicky Squash Mash
This is a great idea for the more starchy squashes, like Buttercup and Uchiki Kuri. It’s very simple to make but it’s such a good alternative to mashed potato at this time of year. It goes really well with pork dishes – sausages and mashed squash makes a nice change – and be sure to cook up some autumnal leeks and kale on the side. These are all a match made in heaven!
- 1 medium squash, halved or quartered (depending on size and shape) with seeds removed
- 1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves (leave skin on)
- Splash of double cream or milk
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- First, put the squash pieces and garlic cloves in a roasting pan, drizzle oil over them and season with salt and pepper before roasting them for approx 45 mins at 180c.
- Once the squash is tender and the garlic cloves are squidgy, remove from the oven. Depending on the size of the garlic cloves you may need to remove them a little earlier, so keep an eye on them!
- Leave the squash and garlic too cool slightly until you can handle them comfortably.
- Using a dessert spoon, scoop out the flesh of the squash and put it into a heavy-bottomed saucepan (that you can use to reheat the mash)
- Squeeze out the garlic from the skins.
- Use a fork or masher to mash the two together, and add a little double cream or milk along with a knob of butter to loosen the mash to the right texture.
- Season with salt, pepper and some grated nutmeg.