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Roasted Garlic And Butternut Squash Soup With Tomato Salsa

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2 garlic bulbs, outer papery skin removed
75ml/5 tbsp olive oil
A few fresh thyme sprigs
1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 onions, chopped
5ml/1 tsp ground coriander
1.2 litres/2 pints/5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
Salt and ground black pepper

For the salsa

4 large ripe tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 red (bell) pepper, halved and seeded
1 large fresh red chilli, halved and seeded
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
15ml/1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of caster (superfine) sugar


Serves: 4


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/ Gas 7. Place the garlic on a piece of foil and pour over half the olive oil. Add the thyme sprigs, then fold the foil around the garlic bulbs to enclose them. Place the foil parcel on a baking sheet with the butternut squash and brush the squash with 15ml/1 tbsp of the remaining olive oil. Add the tomatoes, red pepper and fresh chilli for the salsa.

2. Roast the vegetables for 25 minutes, then remove the tomatoes, pepper and chilli. Reduce the temperature to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 and cook the squash and garlic for 20-25 minutes more, or until the squash is tender.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy pan and cook the onions and ground coriander gently for about 10 minutes, or until softened.

4. Skin the pepper and chilli and process in a food processor or blender with the tomatoes and 30ml/2 tbsp olive oil. Stir in the vinegar and seasoning to taste, adding a pinch of caster sugar. Add the remaining oil if you think the salsa needs it.

5. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its papery skin into the onions and scoop the squash out of its skin, adding it to the pan. Add the stock, 5ml/1 tsp salt and plenty of black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Stir in half the oregano or marjoram and cool the soup slightly, then process it in a blender or food processor. Alternatively, press the soup through a fine sieve (strainer).

7. Reheat the soup without allowing it to boil, then taste for seasoning before ladling it into warmed bowls. Top each with a spoonful of salsa and sprinkle over the remaining chopped oregano or marjoram. Serve immediately.

Energy 298Kcal/1245kj; Protein 4.2g; Carbohydrate 26.7g, of which sugars 18g; Fat 20.3g, of which saturates 2.9g; Cholesterol 0mg; Calcium 118mg; Fibre 5.7g; Sodium 225mg

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