Home-made soups, both delicious and nourishing, call for home-made stock, but if you don’t have time, find a bouillon powder you can trust. I’ve gone to town with the toppings: herbs, seeds, bacon, and cream, but just one or two will turn a plain soup into something substantial or fancy. A tip for gluten-avoiders is to keep a store of gluten-free croutons handy for soup and salad garnishes.
Recipe courtesy of "Allergy-Free Cookbook" by Alice Sherwood, copyright 2007. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.
|1 tbsp nut-free flavorless vegetable oil||1 3/4 pints (1 liter) chicken or vegetable stock|
|1 good-sized butternut squash||1 tsp molasses or dark brown sugar (optional)|
|2 tbsp butter||salt and freshly ground black pepper to season|
|2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped||2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander or parsley|
|1 1/2 tsp curry powder||3 tbsp single cream|
|1/2 tsp ground cumin|
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, gas 5). Halve the butternut squash lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut surfaces with the oil and bake face down on a baking sheet for 1 hour or until the flesh is soft. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp and discard the skin.
Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan. Add the leeks and cook gently for about 3 minutes until softened, but not browned. Add the curry powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
Add the roasted squash, stock, and the molasses or sugar. Season lightly. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until there are no lumps. You may need to do this in two batches if it won’t fit in your blender or food processor. Return to the saucepan. Stir in the chopped coriander or parsley and the cream. Taste and re-season, if necessary. Reheat but do not reboil. Ladle into warm soup bowls, season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish lavishly (see suggestion).
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