4 portions. Approximate cost: £6.80,
Skill level: Easy (requires a blender),
Total cooking time: 45 mins,
- Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes,
- Cooking time: 30 minutes,
Equipment used: 1 large pot, blender,
Whilst in Barcelona, my husband surprised me with an early birthday present – a tour of La Boqueria market and cooking lesson at Barcelona Cooking School on La Rambla (he knows me so well).
This soup was the first of 4 courses, all of which were pretty easy to make, but the simplicity of this was the most surprising.
The original recipe contains caramelised hazelnuts and edible flowers (it was a cooking school after all) – although these looked nice, neither actually added much in terms of flavour and I wasn’t overly keen on the crunchy aspect of the nuts in the soup. As such I’ve left these out when re-making at home (plus I can’t be arsed to source edible flowers).
This does mean the soup looks less like the delicate dish in the image above and more like a big bowl full of hearty grub, but that’s no great shame.
- Dice the butternut squash into chunks – to make this easier for yourself, chop the squash in half and add both halves, skin and all into the oven on a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes as this will make the squash much easier to peel and chop.
- Peel the pears and roughly chop into similar size chunks as the squash (make sure to remove the pips)
- Dice the onion into rough chunks.
- Cut the blue cheese into small cubes – this will be added to the soup at the very end. Try not to eat half of the pack whilst you cook.
- Get your stock out of the freezer!
Into a large pan, add a generous splash of olive oil and a knob of butter. To this add; 1 roughly chopped onion, 1 cubed squash and 4 pears, also cubed. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes until everything is soft. (If you need to split this across 2 pans, do, it’s best not to overcrowd the pan).
Add 500ml of vegetable stock and cook for another 15 minutes – you may need to add more stock depending on the size of your squash and how thick you want the end result.
Season well with salt and lots of pepper and pop the lot into a blender (if making a large quantity, you may need to do this in stages).
When serving, add the cubes of blue cheese into the bowl – they’ll melt slightly into little pools of saltiness.
All ingredients from Nour, Brixton, unless otherwise stated:
- 1 butternut squash, between 750g and 900g (£1.50 +)
- 4 medium to large pears, (approximately £1.60 from Sunday’s Farmer’s Market, Brixton)
- 1 medium to large onion (20p)
- 100g Gorgonzola cheese (£2.50 from Tesco)
- 30g butter
- 500ml to 750ml of vegetable stock (£1)
If you’re making your stock you will also need a selection of roughly chopped root veg
(The below can be used to make 3 litres of stock, the rest of which can go in the freezer)
- 2 small onions,
- 1 carrot,
- 1 turnip or parsnip or suede,
- 1 leek,
- leftover mushrooms, tomatoes,
- any leftover herbs (leaves and stalks)
- 3 litres of water
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