Here's a recipe that does it exactly what it says on the tin. Or in this case, the mug.
Yes, it's a recipe for hot soup:
Last time I went to see my brother in Manchester, he cooked up an amazing butternut squash soup. It was soup with the sort of lovely soft velvety-ness that made me want to just climb in like it was a huge bath of soup and spend a few hours there. Maybe take in a magazine. That sort of thing.
What made my love of this fine, fine soup even greater was that I'm a card-carrying butternut squash sceptic. As veggies go, squash is Conference rather than Premier League in my book. It's the veggie equivalent of something like Birmingham or support stockings or something - you're glad they're there, but you kind of hope your paths don't have to cross too often.
But after eating that soup, I was ready to become a convert, and went out and got me some and tried to recreate the recipe at home.
I didn't succeed. Pah. Defeated by the butternut squash! *shakes fist*
In order to crack the secret of how to make butternut squash into a food friend rather than a food foe, I emailed by brother. Here's what he emailed back: "OK, you have to realise I don't really *do* recipes." Gah!
Luckily, he sent me what he thought the recipe was anyway. Hoorah! Here's what you do, at least as far as he can remember...
6 large carrots
2 medium potatoes
1 large butternut squash
2 large onions
about a litre of vegetable stock
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
black pepper to taste
What you do
Halve the squash lengthways. Scoop out seeds. Peel and half one of the onions and put into recesses left by seeds. Roast in preheated oven flat-side-up at 180C for about an hour, or until the surface of the squash starts to caramelise.
While that roasts, peel and roughly chop the other onion and sweat it down in a large pan with a little oil. Add the stock when that's done. Peel and roughly chop the carrots and potatoes and add to the stock. Gently simmer on a medium heat until the carrots and potatoes are soft. Add the spices. Stir and leave on a very low heat until the squash is roasted. Add the flesh of the squash and the steamed onions from the squashs' recess to the soup. Blend to thick smooth consistency.
Serve with crusty bread.