Pumpkin or Squash Soup with Spiced Apple & Honey Balsamic Dressing
Who knew that you are supposed to ‘season’ pumpkins once you’ve picked them… and by season we mean leaving them somewhere dark for at least a month to mature, not add salt and pepper. Apparently this gives time for the sugars in them to develop and make them super tasty.
We certainly didn’t – we cannot lie – we heard it from James Wong on Gardeners Question Time. And it’s kind of handy because this year ours grew like weeds. At one point we had images of us having to eat our way out of the house. Suffice it to say we now have plenty of ‘seasoned’ squashes and one of our favourite and simplest dishes so far has been this Squash soup with MFT Spiced Apple & Honey Balsamic.
You will need (Serves 4)
For the soup
- One squash or pumpkin – think large butternut or green squash/ small pumpkin
- One medium potato
- 1.25 litres of stock – chicken or vegetable
- One sliced or diced onion – we cheat and freeze a load of sliced onion then pull out a handful when we need them
- A few leaves or pinch of dry sage or thyme
- A crushed or chopped clove of garlic
- A tablespoon of vegetable oil or knob of butter
For the Balsamic Dressing
- 50ml MightyFine Spiced Apple & Honey Balsamic Vinegar – truth be told any balsamic is worth trying but as it’s our recipe we’ll say MFT and we think the spices in ours add a certain something!
- A desert spoon of honey or agave/ maple syrup if you want to make a vegan version
First off peel and slice the potato and pumpkin/ squash into chunks about 0.5 – 1 cm thick – removing all seeds. If the skin on the pumpkin is soft leave it on – now ours have been left for a month they are pretty tough.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan (a big enough to hold all the soup at the end – we’re fans of one pot cooking). Throw the chopped garlic, onion and herbs in and cook until soft then (use a spatula/ spoon to give them a turn so they don’t stick) then add the sliced pumpkin and potato, mix them in and let them sweat with the onions etc for a minute or two then add most of the stock (reserve about a quarter of it until the end).
Bring it to the boil and then let it simmer for about 12 – 15 minutes. Check the pumpkin and potato are soft and add salt and pepper and more stock if you think it needs it. Once it’s done turn the heat off and get the hand blender out/ put it in the blender and whizz it to your preferred consistency. We go for hand blender as it seems less ferocious than the Magimix or jug blender and our preference is for a less smooth mouth feel.
While the soup is simmering pop the MFT Spiced Honey & Apple Balsamic into a small saucepan, add the honey and turn the heat on low and stir it occasionally. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t caramelise! After about five minutes the honey should have melted into the vinegar and it will have reduced slightly. When the soup is in the bowls swirl the Balsamic dressing onto the top of the soup.
Other additions could be a dollop of sour cream/ creme fraiche/ yoghurt and a bit of parmesan. If you like nutmeg you could put a scrapping of that in with the herbs and onion at the beginning or straight onto the soup at the end.
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