- 1/2 butternut squash, halved and seeded
- 3 tblsp softened unsalted butter
- donegal rapeseed oil
- 1 onion
- 4 parsnips
- 1/2 leek
- 1/2 head celery
- 6 carrots
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 600 ml vegetable stock (stock cube is fine)
- 100 ml hot water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh chili
- pinch cloves
- 50 ml crème fraiche
- toasted pumpkin seeds
- finely chopped chives
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Place squash and carrots in a baking dish and brush the cut side with the softened butter and season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with a small amount of each spice.
- Cover with foil and bake in the oven covered for 20/30 minutes (or until soft), remove foil and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove the squash from the oven and scoop out the pulp from the skin.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan heat the olive oil and a little softened butter.
- Fry the parsnip, onion, celery and leek with the remaining spices without colouring.
- Place the squash in the saucepan, gently fry a little and add the stock.
- Simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer in batches to a blender and once blended till smooth strain through a chinois into a medium saucepan.
- Place back on a low heat and simmer for approx 10 minutes, adding more stock or water, if necessary.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the crème fraiche and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and float a few croutons and toasted pumpkin seeds on top.
- Garnish with finely sliced chives.
Wade's top tips: Always cook out your spices before adding to any liquid. Otherwise they will taste bitter. The bigger you cut your vegetables the longer they will take to cook. Blending the soup while still hot will end up with a smoother puree.