Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - MOURNING SHADOWS -

Serves 4

You will need: 1 but­ter­nut squash 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil, plus a lit­tle ex­tra for driz­zling 1 bulb of gar­lic 1 onion, peeled and halved 1 ta­ble­spoon of fresh rose­mary leaves 1L (1 ¾ pts) stock Ap­prox­i­mately 450ml (15fl oz) milk Salt and freshly ground black pep­per Bal­samic glaze, to serve Parme­san shav­ings, to serve So many peo­ple tell me they never cook but­ter­nut squash be­cause they find the peel­ing and chop­ping it of it such a faff. This soup by­passes all that and it’s my favourite lazy lunch. All you have to do is roast, boil and blend! Pre­heat the oven to 220°C, 425°F, Gas 7. Top and tail the but­ter­nut squash, then cut it length­ways into quar­ters and scoop out the seeds. Put the four chunks in a roast­ing tray and toss them in the olive oil. Halve the bulb of gar­lic through the mid­dle (skin and all), put the halves in tin­foil, driz­zle them with a lit­tle oil and add the tin­foil packet to the roast­ing tray. Roast for 30 min­utes un­til the squash is ten­der, then throw in the onion halves for a fi­nal 10 min­utes. Put the roasted squash chunks and the onion halves into a large pot. Squeeze the cloves of gar­lic out of their skins and add them to the pot, then lash in the fresh rose­mary leaves and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, re­move the pot from the heat and blend the soup with a stick blender un­til it is smooth, adding the milk to achieve your de­sired con­sis­tency. Check the sea­son­ing, adding a lit­tle salt and freshly ground black pep­per if nec­es­sary. Serve driz­zled with bal­samic glaze and shav­ings of Parme­san.

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