Wednesday 7 March 2012

Butternut Squash and Celeriac Soup with Paul Hollywood's Chedder and Apple Bread

What's the daftest thing you could do with some canisters of soup?  Yes, that is a rhetorical question.
At Fancy Pans we make soup for some local, elderly residents and I deliver it as soon as it is prepared before putting it on the lunchtime menu. 

It was a good day for Butternut Squash soup, but as I didn't have any pears, and only half the quantity of squash I needed, I accidentally invented a new recipe. 

Chef was going to make a fabulous dish of roasted loin of venison with celeriac puree and port sauce - to see the recipe click here (seen on Masterchef), so there was lots of celeriac available (an ugly vegetable if ever there was one).
 I began as usual by chopping a fairly large onion and sweated it off for a while in butter and vegetable oil. Whilst that was cooking I peeled and removed the seeds from the squash and chopped it.  Then I 'acquired' a celeriac, peeled and chopped that too. There were equal quantities of squash and celeriac, about a pound of each (500g if you are metric). In to the onion they both went followed by two pints of stock (chicken or vegetable). A few sprigs of thyme completed the mix. When it was bubbling away nicely I added some white pepper the amount is down to choice - if you like it hot, put plenty in, but don't add any salt until later. When it has cooked for about 15 or 20 minutes, remove from the heat, take out the thyme sprigs and liquidise. You can either add to a liquidiser in batches, or use a hand blender. I like to add Garam Masala at this point so that it is blended as it is liquidised, so I picked up the jar and added a good, heaped teaspoonful.  The soup was really thick so I added just over half a pint of milk (that's 10 fluid ounces). You need to keep tasting to make sure the seasoning is to your liking and adjust it.  The soup had a slight 'kick', but wasn't spicy, just smooth and tasty. I poured some into the delivery cartons and went to load the car. I had some tins of cakes which I needed to take too so I put the soup onto the roof of the car whilst I put the cakes on the back seat.  All set, I jumped in and headed off to deliver.  Half-way down the road the realisation hit me - I'd left the soup on the roof!  The road was quiet and I pulled over.  Checked the roof - no soup!  It must be back at Fancy Pans.  Alas, no.  On my return, no evidence of soup.  A walk down the road eventually revealed a few shattered remains of the canisters, but no contents.  They had all but disappeared.   The second run was successful with soup safely transported. 

On my return I noticed I had left the Garam Masala on the side so I picked it up to put away and discovered that it was actually ground ginger!  So, there you have it, Butternut Squash and Celeriac  Soup with Ginger.  Try it with Paul Hollywood's fantastic Cheddar and apple bread - he isn't Master Baker for nothing!

Ingredient recap:

1 onion
Butter (1-2 oz) - add a little vegetable oil to prevent burning
1lb Butternut Squash
1lb Celeriac
2 pints stock (chicken or vegetable)
A few sprigs of thyme
A heaped teaspoon of ground ginger
Half a pint of milk


  1. Thanks for posting. This is a great soup! I only used 1 butternut squash and 1 med Celeriac. I also used fresh ginger and ground thyme since that is what I had. My family was impressed. We all loved it. Seconds for everyone.

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