Monday 29 September 2008

Roast Squash, Chard and Ham Soup

I might be reaching for the central heating control tonight. Despite a summer to forget, the temperatures have remained fairly moderate. But this morning, that unmistakeable 'nip' of autumn was in the air. Time for the big coats and a bit of natural central heating from our lovely Autumnal foods methinks.

Soup is the easiest and most natural food stuff to turn to when you need a bit of inner core thermal warming. I can't help but experiment when it is soup time, and with a few sad squashes in my garden somehow surviving the summer floods, the soup pot was the only humane way of putting their short lives to an honourable end.

A squash sliced into chunks and skin left on - seeds removed for roasting for a delicious snack EVERY time - before roasting to golden perfection, makes for an intensely sweet base for your soup. Leaves of iron-enriched green chard and a few slices of leftover roast ham make things even better. And before you know it, you have a 45 minute soup from start to finish that will warm you up and pack you full of cold-beating goodness. Souper.

Roast Squash, Chard and Ham Soup

Feeds 2

1 medium sized squash, sliced into chunks and seeds removed
1 onion, skin removed and cut into quarters
1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 handfuls of chard, washed and chopped roughly
A few handfuls of leftover ham
500ml hot vegetable stock or water

1 - Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees, GM6.
2 - Put the squash, garlic and onion onto a baking tray, season generously and toss with the olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes until golden and caramelised.
3 - Toss the chard in a hot pan for 5 minutes until wilted.
4 - Put the roast squash and onion into a blender. Squeeze in the sweetened roasted garlic cloves from their skins.
5 - Put in the chard, ham and stock then blitz until smooth.
6 - Pour into a pan and reheat. Taste for seasoning.


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This feeds 2 but I'm sure there was little leftover for Cery.I love all the comfort foods of autumn:D

Aimée said...

I'm always impressed with how healthy you recipes are, David. This looks like something I could really tuck into. Thank goodness for leftover ham!

Beth (jamandcream) said...

Ive eaten so much squash in the last few weeks you wouldn't believe - always room for more though

Jan said...

Your soup sounds delish, David. I am so ready for some soup weather, it was 88F here in Oklahoma today, so it's still salad and BBQ for us.

Sylvie said...

I've just run the heating for the first time tonight for a couple of hours as well. After a glorious weekend, we're back to the usual dull, grey Manchester skies here and autumnal temperatures. I would have loved to tuck into a bowl of this tonight.

Anonymous said...

ooh, you just can't beat a nice warming soup! I love squash in soups too - it also gives the most amazing texture. I too had to turn the heating on yesterday AND I just got drenched in a rainstorm!

William Leigh said...

good stuff matey. Fancy a bowl of that today!

Unknown said...

A real winter warmer!

Laura Paterson said...

I had the heating on a couple of nights ago - and I'm much further south than you!

Lovely comforting soup there :)

Rosie said...

Very seasonal David & just how it used to be when my mum would cook for us as children. I know I could sit down in front of a warm fire and tuck into a bowl of your steaming soup - heaven :)

Rosie x

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Looks great David. I am planning on making butternut squash soup today, so I may try roasting the squash first. Does it make a huge difference to the flavour?

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

A delicious-sounding combo. As much as I love summer vegetables, there's nothing like the squash season, either...

Rosie said...

It is always good to collect new recipes for squash and your soup I could tuck into right night with some crusty bread!

Rosie x

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

I am pleased you chose to despatch the squash honourably. :) Sounds like a really nice comfort soup. The ham was a nice accent. And you;re right the best heater is within.

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