Friday, 25 October 2013

Family Food - Spicy Roast Butternut Soup

Been properly poorly this week with a stinky, horrible cold (or dare I say, flu?) - with which I have likely infected most of my family near and distant, at my cousin's wedding. I'm a naturally huggy/kiss-on-cheek type person. I did try to curtail my affection, but one hug-n-kiss combo issued unavoidably involves a sequence of events whereby you can't leave anyone out - can you? They might feel left out, for goodness sake! What kind of animal would omit a relative from a (virus) cuddle? Not I!

On my first rare day off sick, I decided soup was required. The usual "go-to" staple in our home when we feel guff (or just really lazy) is Heinz Cream of Tomato soup, so you can imagine my disgust on finding NONE in the tin drawer! Horrified screams may have been heard as far away as Wick, or even Jupiter.

What I did have in the Busyalibee fridge was a butternut squash and half a leftover huge sweet potato.



Medium sized butternut squash
Half a huge sweet potato, or a normal sized one
An onion chopped finely
2 garlic cloves
Teaspoon of cumin
1cm cube of fresh ginger - I use frozen
Sea salt
Black pepper
Chilli flakes
1/2 pint Vegetable stock


  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C.
  2. Slice butternut squash in half lengthwise, then each lengthwise again.
  3. Place on roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 1 hour. Meantime, set timer for 30 mins and...
  5. Peel and roughly chop sweet potato, add to roasting tin, drizzle with oil and season.
  6. Roast for remaining 30 minutes with squash (hope that makes sense?)
  7. When veg is roasted, fry up onion and crushed garlic with teaspoon cumin, ginger and teaspoon of chilli flakes.
  8. Scoop flesh from squash skins and chuck in pan, with sweet potato.
  9. Add stock, stir, simmer for 5 minutes.
  10. Blitz with hand blender until smooth.
  11. Add more water/milk if it's too thick for you.

And that's it! Very easy - and absolutely gorgeous. Though I still feel like absolute crap, so it's medicinal qualities are perhaps lacking somewhat. And do you know what? It actually tastes better today than it did 2 days ago when I made it!

Lovely Jubbly.

Expecting.... What Exactly?

Very exciting news, chaps.

I'm gestating another human..... As I type! In approximately 5 months, all going well, the above person (although a fair bit larger) will have escaped the confines of my uterus and announced his/her arrival with with a disappointed yell of "Aw come on Mammy - this place sucks! I was much cosier in there!"

There will be much general exhaustion, crying (on all our parts) and absolute overwhelming bliss - or let's all hope so anyway. I'm hoping to feast on Brie and cranberry toasties several times daily - thanks to the incredible Other Half; enjoy countless episodes of Ben And Holly - thanks to The Bairn; and (please please please) easy, breezy, whip-em-out-and-feed, totally painless breast feeding. My lovely bump will instantly tighten back down to resembling a washboard again (when was it a washboard? When you were 14?) but my gargantuan boobies will remain). I'm hoping they might stretch to a C-cup one of these days. Imagine!

The Bairn! How will he cope? The boy who is centre of our universe will have to be content to share his solar glow with his sibling. I may not be able to respond so quickly to such demands as "Mammy. In there!" pointing to the living room; or "Gingerbread bin man, yes please!" He will be gutted.

But in a couple of years, when they're playing in/fighting over the sand pit, or holding hands as they walk along in the park - it'll all be worth it.

We're all so excited!