Sunday, 3 February 2013

Two ways with butternut squash

I seem to spend the entire of my weekends in the kitchen at the moment – not that I’m complaining, but if you saw the size of my kitchen you’d wonder how I hadn’t developed severe claustrophobia yet.

This weekend has been no different – although I haven’t been suffering from a hangover which is a little out of the ordinary.

Today I made one butternut squash go a very long way in prepping for the week ahead.

The week’s are so busy and go so fast – if I don’t plan ahead (lunches in particular) I end up snacking on rubbish or not eating at all.

This butternut squash and harissa hummous is so easy to make – it takes a little patience but it’s perfect to do on a Sunday afternoon and have in the fridge ready and waiting. It’s so much nicer than the pre-made stuff in the supermarkets.

It’s yummy on crackers or crispbread for lunch or on a wrap with falafels and salad. I made some a couple of weeks ago as part of a Moroccan tapas-style tea and took some into work – everyone wanted some and luckily the recipe makes a substantial batch so there was plenty to go around.

It only uses half a butternut squash and with the other half you can either roast if off and freeze it for next time or make a satisfying soup.

I made the soup using sweet potato, stock, onion, garlic, herbs and the other half of the butternut squash then froze it in batches so that when I need to grab a quick lunch, I can just take it out of the freezer and it’ll be defrosted by lunch time.

Butternut squash and harissa hummous


½ butternut squash, cut into 2cm chunks
3 garlic cloves
olive oil
3 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp harissa
400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed


Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the squash and whole garlic cloves in a roasting tray with a good drizzle of oil then season with salt and pepper.
Cover with foil to stop the edges burning then put in the oven for around 45 minutes – until the squash is really soft. Leave to cool.
Put the contents of the tin into a food processor including any juices, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and add.
Add the rest of the ingredients with a touch more salt and pepper and whiz until smooth. Drizzle with extra olive oil and serve.

Tip: I served mine with toasted pittas and a pistachio and feta salad (Paul had his with a big juicy Moroccan spiced steak!

Butternut squash and sweet potato soup


½ butternut squash, cut into 2cm chunks
500ml chicken or veg stock
1 medium-sized sweet potato, cut into 2cm chunks
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 red onion, roughly chopped
olive oil
tsp dried thyme
tsp dried rosemary
splash of milk or cream 

Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the squash and sweet potato into a pan of boiling water and part-boil for about ten minutes. Prepare your stock.
Tip into a roasting tray and drizzle with oil. Scatter over the onion, garlic and herbs, drizzle over some more oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast in the oven for around 20 minutes until the squash and potato is soft (keep checking to make sure the onion and garlic doesn’t catch and burn. Leave to cool slightly.
Use a hand blender to blend the mixture, adding the stock a little bit at a time. Finally blend in a dash of milk (or cream if you want it to be richer).
Serve immediately or freeze until needed. Defrost before re-heating.

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