SQUASH, PEAR AND SWEET POTATO SOUP

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FOOD & DRINK -

Serves 4

500g (1lb 2oz) but­ter­nut squash, peeled, de­seeded and chopped

300g (10½oz) sweet pota­toes, peeled and chopped

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pep­per

4tbsp olive oil

2 onions, peeled and chopped

2 cel­ery sticks, chopped

1tsp co­rian­der seeds, toasted and ground

2 ripe, juicy pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1ltr (1¾pt) chicken or veg­etable stock A hand­ful of co­rian­der, chopped, plus ex­tra to serve

Pre­heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Spread the chopped squash and sweet

pota­toes on a large bak­ing tray, sea­son with salt and black pep­per and driz­zle with 2tbsp of the oil. Cook un­til soft­ened and be­gin­ning to caramelise – about 25 min­utes.

Mean­while, heat the re­main­ing oil in a large pan and sweat the onion and cel­ery for about 10 min­utes un­til very soft. In a sep­a­rate pan, toast the co­rian­der seeds for a few min­utes then grind in a pes­tle and mor­tar. Add this to the pan of onions, then add the chopped pear. Re­move the roasted squash and sweet pota­toes from the oven and tip into the pan, to­gether with the stock.

Bring to the boil, then re­duce the heat and sim­mer gen­tly for about 20 min­utes or un­til all the vegetables are re­ally ten­der. Add a large hand­ful of co­rian­der then whizz the soup in a food pro­ces­sor un­til it’s reached the con­sis­tency you pre­fer. Serve with ex­tra co­rian­der, a driz­zle of olive oil and some cracked black pep­per.

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