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Thai Butternut Squash Coconut Noodle Soup

This soup is so good, that people will do anything to get their hands on it. This isn’t an exaggeration – a portion of this beautiful Thai inspired soup destined to be my lunch one afternoon went missing, tub and all, from my office kitchen. To this day we don’t know who ‘soup thief’ is – who, in turn also stole a sandwich at the same time – and I never saw that tub again. It’s all excitement at my work, I tell you.

Before it was stolen, it began life in a large Le Creuset pot, filled with lightly spiced cubes of butternut squash, creamy coconut broth and spindly lengths of vermicelli noodles. Handfuls of not-so-authentic spinach are stirred through right at the last minute, to wither slightly before being ladled into bowls and topped with fresh mint and a twist of black pepper. It’s so simple, warming and full of goodness, that I can almost forgive the soup thief for their crime. If they were after a hug in a bowl, that is indeed what they stole.

Washed Spinach in a Colander

I came across this recipe a few months ago, going through back issues of delicious magazine in search of some new dinner inspiration. The original recipe cites two servings, but I believe you can stretch it to three easily or four for lunch-sized portions. If you eat a gluten free diet, this is a perfect new recipe for you – just ensure you use gluten free stock cubes and that your noodles have been packaged in a gluten-free zone. You can also make it a little more authentic with pak choi leaves, but I like the simplicity of spinach – plus its cheaper. Filling enough to be made on a weeknight for dinner then packaged up for office-based lunches, it’s the perfect way to ensure you have a meal filled with goodness whilst sitting at your desk. I’d probably advise some sort of Ross Geller-inspired ‘my soup!’ sticker on the Tupperware though, just to avoid causing a scene if it does go missing.

 Adapted from delicious. magazine December 2011

 

You Will Need

2 tbsp thai red curry paste

450g butternut squash (around half), diced into 1cm pieces

400g can of full fat coconut milk

400ml vegetable or chicken stock

2 nests or one long sheet of dried vermicelli rice noodles

100g fresh spinach (or two heads of pak choi if you’re feeling authentic, leaves shredded)

Salt and pepper to taste

Mint leaves and cracked black pepper to serve

Vermicelli Rice Noodles

Place a large stock pot over a medium heat and once hot, add the curry paste and fry for a minute. Add the squash cubes and stir to coat with the curry paste, cooking for 2 minutes. Cover the squash with the contents of the coconut milk can and the stock and stir to combine. Simmer for around 20 minutes until the squash is tender.

Stirring Spinach into Thai Butternut Squash Coconut Noodle Soup

With your hands, break the noodles into smaller chunks and add to the soup, stirring to combine and cooking for three minutes. Add the chopped spinach and stir through until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste then remove from the heat. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cracked black pepper and mint leaves.

Thai Butternut Squash Coconut Noodle Soup

 

Lemon and Poppy Seed Pancakes

I’m always late to the party. I have the best of intentions, the slickest of plans and a pile of cookies ready in a sandwich bag to bring along to any occasion. But in life, things like bad hair days, ripped tights and poor pancakes ruin the fun, leaving me flustered, upset and late. I always do it but it never gets easier.

On Shrove Tuesday last week, I hummed and hawed over posting a recipe I knew wasn’t right. I tried the two ingredient pancake method that has crept across the internet of late, but there was nothing delicious or photogenic about these things. A mashed banana and a couple of eggs do not a good pancake make, no matter how suagr-free, gluten-free and diet-suitable it might be. They didn’t photograph well or taste of anything other than rubbery baby food and I had to stuff the idea to the back of the SD card archives. Ho hum.

So Pancake Day passed me by. Last year I had a lot of fun with my flatmates making crepes at 11pm at night, slathering with sugar and lemon (and Nutella at the bequest of others). The next day we made fluffy, American style pancakes with caramelised apples and ate perched on the worktop as the flat became overrun with parents and friends as usual. This year, I made a batch of cookies and watched Call the Midwife. Fun, but certainly not like the memories of last year.

I share Emma of Poires au Chocolat’s take on pancake eating, in that alone there is a certain amount of simple pleasure in a rolled up crisp crepe with sticky lemon juices mingled with a shower of caster sugar. But I also feel that the shared moments are also wonderful, and my pancake day ended up being five days later with my boyfriend, with stacks of these lemon and poppy seed pancakes, crisp bacon and buckets of black coffee. With the first real sunshine of the year; bright and vivacious with a brisk chilled air, my 2013 pancake memories are far better deliciously late than blandly on-time.

These pancakes combine a classic partnership that stays relevant for a reason. The flavour relationship exudes spring with its yellow and bluish flecks of colour in its sharp zest, sweet juice and crunchy seeds. Fluffy and light, this stack adds just the right amount of sweetness to salted back bacon and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

 

You Will Need

200g self-raising flour

3 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp poppy seeds

Zest of 1 lemon, juice of ½

2 eggs

200ml milk

A knob of butter, for frying

Pancake Ingridients

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and poppy seeds. Stir through the lemon zest then make a well in the centre of the dry mix. Crack in the two eggs and whisk with a hand mixer until incorporated. Add half the milk and whisk, adding the rest until the batter is smooth. Squeeze in the lemon juice and whisk again.

Pancakes and Eggs

In a large non-stick frying pan, melt a knob of butter over a medium heat and spread across the pan. Dollop in tablespoons of batter, cook until bubbling, then flip and cook for a further minute. Remove and rest on a clean tea towel. Repeat until the batter is all used up then serve with crisp bacon and black coffee.

Brunch with Pancakes

 

Hi guys, remember me?

I realise VSPP has gone slightly AWOL in the past couple of weeks due to my ineptitude with technology, accidentally breaking the Wi-Fi on my first night in my new flat. Luckily I live with a so-laidback-he’s-practically-horizontal flatmate, who hasn’t killed me much for my wonderful first-impression mistake. So my first chance to get back on the web has seen me brush Lovefilm aside and get cracking with some blog posts. Who knows when I will finally get the net back? I’m not taking any chances.

So here I am in a First Class seat (not a big expense, the seat was £3 more expensive than standard) heading up to Aberdeen after a fabulous weekend of wine and food, with a little Cosmopolitan Blog Awards thrown in the middle. It was such good fun; I met a ton of lovely people and will give you a little insight to what it was like in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

Anyway, I suppose I should get down to business and update you about my move to Aberdeen. A couple of weeks ago I made the thrice life-changing move to the top of Scotland to a new city, new flat and (most importantly) new job. It’s terrifying, fast paced and completely different to anything I have encountered before. I utterly love it.

The move up north hasn’t come without its pitfalls. There was the insane weather a couple of Tuesday’s ago that left my connecting bus accidentally hit by a rather large tree, my brolly fancying an adventure and sailing off into the sunset and my central belt winter coat pointing and laughing at me, when what I really need is an arctic puffa. Yes, the weather is at best cold and at worst hurricane like, but I am battening down the hatches and diving headfirst into one pan cooking.

This recipe was earmarked as soon as Shutterbean had clicked publish on WordPress. The large Le Creuset pan filled with liberally curried chicken and fluffy coconut rice practically screamed MAKE ME when I read it. I dutifully obliged and I have been snacking on the leftovers ever since.

The beauty of this particular one pot dish is that it is rather cheap to make. Although expensive items like coconut milk and fresh herbs (which I left out as I had forgotten to buy them) may seem like needless commodities, you are actually allowing yourself to buy nicer store cupboard items due to the fact you are jointing a £4 chicken into ten tasty pieces. 40p for a piece of chicken! It’s an utter bargain! Of course, you do need to take a little time to do it, but the results are worth it. I am conscious of the fact that mere words cannot really do instructions for this kitchen essential justice, so feel free to YouTube to get a visual guide. The extra added bonus is a fresh carcass for stock making, and if you take a slow Sunday to bring a pan of cold water with said carcass, half an onion and two garlic cloves to the boil for a few hours, you will have an unbeatable reduced stock that is perfect for a chicken noodle broth.

As for the eponymous dish, the flavours are extraordinary. Crispy skinned chicken flavoured with beautiful curry spices baked with fragrant coconut rice, nestled with sweet onion and garlic. So simple and delicious, yet packing a delicious punch. The best part is settling down on the sofa on a Sunday with a glass of wine and a big bowl, safe in the knowledge that no matter how many times you go for seconds, there will still be plenty left for lunchboxes for the coming week.

Adapted from Shutterbean

You Will Need

1 whole chicken

1 teaspoon ground cayenne chilli pepper

4 teaspoons curry powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 white onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons tomato puree

400g can of light coconut milk

2 cups of basmati rice

2 cups water

Firstly prep the chicken. Remove the string and place breast side down on a chopping board, legs nearest to you. Using a jointing knife (long, slightly curved and thin knife) slice a line right down the backbone, just hitting the bone. Tilt your knife so it is on a slant, and begin to make small cuts along the ribs down one side, removing the meat from the bones. As you slice down, you will find the joints for the wings and thighs. Simply wiggle each joint a little to loosen and cut through any silage to remove from the main bones. Cut as far as possible then stop. Repeat on the other side so that the bird is mostly flat. Begin to carefully cut up the breast bone, trying to keep as much meat as possible on the bird. You will be able to cut right through, but the one part that will remain is the wishbone. Carefully cut down this fiddly bone to remove from the meat and you should have a flat chicken with the ribcage removed.

Now to portion. Begin by slicing down the middle of the breasts to create two halves. Then find the wing joint and remove from the breast, cutting to separate the two. Remove the tip of the wing (the pointed part) as this has barely any meat and is much better used in the stock. Cut the breast lengthways to create two smaller pieces. Separate the thigh from the leg in the same manner, cutting between the joint and separating. Remove any excess skin as this will add unnecessary oil to the overall dish. Repeat with the other half.

Now you should have 10 pieces of chicken, a carcass and wing tips. You could freeze the breasts to use in another dish or create stock with the bones. Try to use as much as possible, as it is far better to use the whole bird well than throwing out needless waste.

Whisk together the cayenne pepper, curry powder and salt and sprinkle over the portioned chicken. Coat well and either leave to rest or continue cooking. On the hob, heat a small amount of oil in a large casserole pot and begin to brown the chicken in small batches, skin side down first to crisp up and then the other side to a golden brown colour. Rest on a plate as you prepare the vegetables. Turn down the heat a little and fry the onion, garlic and ginger together until golden, roughly 7-8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further minute, then add the coconut milk, rice and water.

Bring to the boil then nestle the chicken on top. Cover and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the rice tender. Sprinkle with fresh herbs such as parsley if you have any and serve in warmed bowls with a glass of wine. Perfect winter comfort food.

 

The general consensus about scones it would seem, is that they should be slathered with jam and accompanied with a cup of tea. Add a cake stand, teacups and a string of pearls and you are dangerously close to the twee notion of afternoon tea. Does anybody actually partake in this tradition who isn’t swathed in furs? Normally, if I am feeling somewhat peckish between lunch and dinner, my usually port of call is a black coffee and a kit kat. I don’t tend to turn to scones as a means of refuelling unless I’m expecting company, baking for a Flower Show or having a scone-off with my Mam (yes, this does happen).

Yet savoury scones are a lovely alternative to the sickly sweet, but are often an afterthought in the scone devouring world. Of course, a little sweet treat is nice now and again, but a punchy cheese scone with a cup of tea is more ‘working afternoon break’ than simpering ‘teacups and cake stands’. This is hardy fodder, but do not mistake strong flavours for rock hard buns; these scones are light, fluffy and best of all, require very little effort on the baker’s part. So much so, they can go from bowl to plate in well under half an hour. Now that’s what I call fast food.

These scones are an altogether more grown up version of the classic cheddar savoury scones. The saltiness of the parmesan marries perfectly with spicy pepper and the fragrant thyme gives little splashes of colour. Finished with a topping of parmesan, these little beauties bake into gorgeous puffs of flavour with a crisp hat, like little tiger loafs. These savoury treats are are perfect served with a steaming bowl of soup, stacked with cream cheese and ham or simply slathered with butter. So much so, I think I fancy another one…enjoy!

 

You Will Need

225g self raising flour

55g unsalted butter (Stork will work fine with this recipe, but butter does make for fluffier scones)

2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan, plus extra to top the scones

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

125ml milk, plus extra to brush the scones

Preheat the oven to 200oc/190oc fan/Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking tray with butter and set aside. In a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the parmesan, pepper and thyme leaves until well mixed. Pour in the milk and mix with a round bladed knife and then your hand, to form a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to about 1cm thickness. Cut 9 scones using a 2-3cm round cutter, rerolling scraps until all the dough has been used.

Arrange on the prepared baking tray and brush with milk. Sprinkle over a little parmesan and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Remove from the tray and leave to cool on a wire rack before serving. These scones are perfect with a lick of cream cheese and a scattering of honey ham as an afternoon treat, without a cake stand in sight!

Mushroom soup isn’t exactly renowned for being an extraordinarily pretty thing. It’s usually grey, the type of grey that lines the skies just as you step out your flat in a great Spring outfit ensemble. Ominous, dark and depressing, grey isn’t a nice colour.

But this soup is different. It is completely and utterly vegan, which is good news for my friend Georgia, who is contemplating going over to the vegetable side, and asked me to make a vegan recipe a while back. This little bowl of goodness tastes just as good as cream of mushroom, without getting all heavy on the cream. Instead, the soup is lightened with home-made cashew cream, a blend of nuts and water to the thickness of single cream. Totally natural, totally creamy and it’s been nowhere near a cow. Food magic!

This vegan soup is enhanced with all types of natural flavours. Pungent garlic, the fungi’s best friend (arf) is thrown in alongside woody rosemary, to give a great herby flavour. Plus a zing of lemon zest will put a spring in your step alongside a very-Italian drizzle of olive oil and some fresh rosemary needles. This soup is pretty and tasty and quite possibly 100% nicer than the tinned stuff. Go fresh, natural and vegan this March. Make Soup!

 

Recipe adapted and inspired by Joy the Baker

 

You Will Need

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 white onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 rosemary sprig, stalk removed and finely chopped

700g mushrooms, sliced

600ml vegetable stock

¼ pint plain cashew nuts

¼ pint water

Zest of 1 lemon

Plenty of salt and pepper

Olive oil and rosemary needles to finish

Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Throw the chopped onion into the pan and cook slowly for around 7-8 minutes until translucent and golden. Add the garlic and the rosemary and cook for a further minute.

Throw all of the sliced mushrooms into the pan and cook down for around five minutes, turning every so often to fully incorporate the onion mixture with the mushrooms. Pour over the stock and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

To make the cashew cream, fill a measuring jug with cashews up to ¼ pint. Add ¼ pint of cold water and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Using a hand blender, carefully blitz until the mixture is smooth and resembles single cream. Set aside.

Once the mushrooms have cooked, remove from the heat and blend the soup until smooth. Stir through the cashew cream and season generously with salt and pepper and the lemon zest. Place back on the heat to warm through.

To serve, plate up into bowls and top with fresh rosemary needles and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

After all the excitement of Valentine’s Day; the boxes of chocolate, the bottles of fine wine, the inevitable card from your mum…it’s now time to celebrate the far superior holiday of February: Shrove Tuesday (or, its cooler name, Pancake Day). All across the country, people will be dusting off their frying pans, cracking open dozens of eggs and quite possibly enduring the near miss of a bag of flour cascading from the barely used ‘baking cupboard’. But the thought that terrifies me most is the idea of my nearest and dearest picking up a plastic jug of ‘just add water’ pancake batter and hopping into the kitchen with some seriously high expectations. Personally, my idea of a pancake isn’t one that is spewing out additives like a jumbled alphabet. The simplicity of pancakes means few ingredients and the ability to flavour with anything you like, without resorting to plastic bottles of jiffy lemon. The smell of a freshly cut lemon will change your pancake topping ways for good and a simple sprinkling of sugar shows just how easy it is to make pancakes into a sweet little dessert.

But what do you think of when the word pancake is mentioned? For me, it’s all a bit of a jumble. What I remember from my childhood Shrove days are a cross between a crêpe and a drop scone; large and inviting, but not thin and crispy. Everyone’s interpretation of the holiday is different, so I’ve provided you with two recipes to satisfy all camps. The sweet, crispy crêpes with a delicate topping of sugar are a lighter alternative to my toffee apple inspired stack of fluffy American pancakes. And of course, if neither recipe tickles your fancy, you could always go savoury and try my Warm Spice Pancakes with Crispy Bacon. Whichever version you prefer, just get busy in the kitchen and fill your tummy with some seriously good food. Just stay away from anything in a plastic bottle. It’s what the pancake gods would have wanted.

 

Simple Crêpes with Lemon and Sugar

Adapted from delicious. magazine March2011

 

You Will Need

150g plain flour

75g caster sugar

1 egg, plus 1 yolk

300ml milk

2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for frying

A dot of vanilla paste/extract

Add the flour to a large bowl along with the sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the egg and the yolk and begin to beat with a wooden spoon. Gradually add the milk until the mixture becomes a runny batter.

Stir in the melted butter and vanilla, and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place a frying pan over a medium heat and grease the pan a little with some extra butter, removing any excess with kitchen paper.

Once the pan is hot enough, add a ladleful of batter to the pan and swirl it around until it reaches all the corners. Wait until the batter has cooked on top of the pancake before flipping over with a spatula. Cook the other side until golden and add to a warmed plate. Sprinkle with caster sugar and repeat, until the mixture is all used up.

To serve, squeeze over some lemon juice and sprinkle with some more caster sugar.

 

 

Fluffy American Pancakes with Caramelised Apples

 You Will Need

100g self raising flour

25g caster sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ginger

1 egg

100ml milk

Butter for greasing

 

For the apples

2 dessert apples, peeled and cut into segments

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1 squeeze lemon juice

A knob of butter

 

Add the flour, sugar and spices together in a large bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs, and using a hand whisk, mix until incorporated. Slowly add the milk until you have a thick, but runny batter consistency.

Heat the frying pan over a medium heat, and add a dot of butter, removing any excess with kitchen paper. Add a spoonful of batter to the pan and leave to rise, until the top begins to bubble. Flip over with a spatula and cook for a further minute until golden. Remove from the pan and place on a warmed plate or a clean tea towel. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

Once you have finished making the pancakes, add some more butter to the pan and let it melt. Add the apples, remaining caster sugar and leave to cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once cooked through and syrupy, remove from the heat.

To serve, stack up a couple of the pancakes and spoon over the caramelised apples with a little of the remaining juices.

 

A few months ago, I headed off to the SECC in Glasgow, notepad in my hand and finger on the voice recorder app on my phone, ready to act like the perfect food journalist at the Good Food Show. As I was handed over the plastic press pass that screamed I was a fully fledged journalist, I finally felt like I knew what I was doing.

All of these confident feelings slip away the moment you have your first taste of ‘professional journalism’ (i.e. not stuck behind a teeny mini Mac whilst Air TV are arsing about with swords behind you). My first opportunity came when last year’s Masterchef finalist Sara had finished a cookery demonstration featuring macarons. There was ample opportunity to stride over, thrust my battered HTC under her nose and demand her egg white- folding technique. But instead, I dithered and scurried away to hide amongst the displays.

Of course, being alone in a situation like that is a normal thing for a journalist, so my whole experience at the event was to observe, learn and improve for the next time. My confidence was boosted when a lovely company called DeviliShh happily stood and spoke about their dessert cheats product and I walked away with an armful of samples. Rooster potatoes sang the praises of their purple tatties and I chatted away, munching on an indigo coloured potato wedge. And a company with a penchant for air dried vegetable crisps proudly told me about their desire to keep their products away from supermarkets. As I sat in the journalists holding pen, scoffing a bag of said crisps and scribbling down notes, I felt like I had properly began to find my feet as a food journalist.

Afterwards, I retreated back to the arena to watch a few demonstrations in the pre-booked theatre, where the likes of Antony Worrall Thompson (who is now slightly more famous for pinching cheese from his local Tesco than his rant on a drawbridge on I’m a Celebrity about rice portioning) and Tom Kitchin created luscious dishes before the eyes of a clearly delighted audience. Kitchin has something of a soft spot for knobbly veg, and recently sang the praises of the celeriac in delicious. magazine’s ‘Knobbly Veg’ campaign. In the theatre he was no different, and he displayed the vegetable an impressive three ways topped with slices of juicy pheasant. There was no denying the dish looked amazing and I was suitably impressed by the bobbly thing that looked like an ugly turnip, and thus began my hunt to find one.

And lo, it has taken me 3 months, but the offending veg has been hunted down in my local Tesco. Taking inspiration from Mr Kitchin, I’ve roasted the celeriac and turned it into a delicious soup, adding a citrus hint with a touch of lemon to complement its creamy texture. This soup is great on its own, but taking the time to make your own parsnip crisps will be a rewarding venture. I’m sure the vegetable crisp company won’t hold a grudge against me for doing so, and maybe one day I’ll get Sara’s folding technique to perfect my macarons.

You Will Need

1 celeriac

2-3 garlic cloves, skin on

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 parsnip

1 white onion

2 pints chicken or vegetable stock

1 lemon

A handful of grated parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

Double cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 200oc/180oc fan/Gas Mark 4. Using a large knife, carefully remove the skin of the celeriac and wash until clean. Cut into 1cm chunks and place on a baking sheet. On a chopping board using the back of a knife, crush the garlic cloves and place them whole on the baking sheet. Drizzle with one tablespoon of the oil, season and roast for 50 minutes, turning regularly.

Thinly slice the parsnip using a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler and lay on a baking sheet. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil, season and coat well. Add to the oven after the celeriac has been roasting for 30 minutes, turning regularly.

With 20 minutes to go, heat the remaining oil in a large stock pot. Chop the onion finely and add to the pan, slowly cooking until translucent. Once the celeriac has cooked, add to the pan and squeeze in the insides of the garlic. Cover with the stock and bring to the boil.

Once heated through, remove from the hob and blitz with a hand blender until smooth. You may need to add a little boiling water at this point to thin the soup slightly. Add the zest of the lemon, a squeeze of its juice and the parmesan and stir until incorporated. Season well and return to the hob whilst heated through.

To serve, ladle into bowls, drizzle over some double cream and add the parsnip crisps on top with a twist of black pepper.

Sometimes we need a little bit of health in our lives. Ok, so I know we’re nearing the end of January already, and many of you are almost at the end of your detoxes (seriously, well done, I raise a glass of red to you) but there’s no need to slow down on the healthy eating. Butternut squash has such a wonderfully creamy texture and slow roasting in olive oil lifts the flavour to a caramelised sweetness. But the healthy properties of this soup don’t stop there. The colour is complimented with carrot, which is full of antioxidants, and with a little hint of warmth through the red chilli, sweetness from the garlic and a zingy squeeze of lemon, this soup will become your pick-me-up staple. Take it to work in a Thermos, pour into a mug and enjoy whilst tackling your dissertation, or make it on a slow Sunday, and enjoy the last remnants of your weekend with a bowl curled up on the sofa.

 

You Will Need

1 Butternut Squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 small carrot, grated

1 ½ pints chicken or vegetable stock

A squeeze of lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon double cream to serve

 

Preheat the oven to 200oc/180oc fan/Gas Mark 5. On a chopping board, top and tail the butternut squash and then slice in half length ways. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Remove the outside skin with a peeler or vegetable knife and discard peelings. Slice the squash and cut into 1cm chunks. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, making sure each piece is coated. Season well and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, turning regularly.

After the squash has been roasting for 20 minutes, heat the remaining oil in a large stockpot over a medium heat. Add the onions and slowly cook for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute. Add the carrot, cook for another minute, then pour over the stock and bring to the boil.

Once the squash is tender and beginning to crisp at the edges, remove from the oven and add to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat. Using a stick blender, whizz the soup until smooth and no lumps remain. Season with some pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with a drizzle of double cream and extra black pepper.