Though the hues of orange, umber, mustard and rust seem to have disappeared from the trees, you can always turn to some late autumn and winter squash to bring back the warmth when it’s turning cold and grey outside. This year we picked up pumpkins from our local Emmett’s Farm and had a mixed squash box delivered from Riverford Organic.
The season started with 5th of November Pumpkin Soup, and this year the Englishman played his hand at recreating our favourite dish. I must admit, it was far tastier than the one I made last year and I think I’ll be leaving it to him in the future. Blending both pumpkin and butternut squash with lots of browned onions for depth, he garnished the soup with crushed hazelnuts, a drizzle of cream and chilli oil – delicious!
A few weeks ago my parents were visiting from Canada and we had a lovely drive out to Avebury for the day to visit the stone circle and the Manor House. After a chilly (by English standards) walk over chalk paths around the standing stones, we sat down to a spiced pumpkin stew and roasted root veg for lunch in the cafe. It was made with pumpkins and squash from the walled kitchen garden and just the thing to warm and refuel us.
Back at home I set about roasting what was left in our squash box, partly for prepping meals during the week, and, to be honest, partly for warmth from the oven. Though butternut is the ubiquitous squash, it was nice to try something different. Red onion squash (with reddish skin and rich orange flesh) and crown prince (with green skin and deep yellow starchy fruit) are both much denser than butternut and less watery than pumpkin, making them easier to cook with.
Anywhere between 40 minutes and an hour (depending on how many squash and how cold you are – but doesn’t really matter as they’ll just caramelize more if left in the oven) and you’ll have a few days worth of meals sorted. Halved red onion squash filled with sauteed spinach and cannellini beans was very filling, and the combination of spiced crown prince squash with mango & ginger chutney was a surprise flavour pairing that really worked!
It’s time to move on now to the root veg of winter months, though there’s nothing wrong with getting in touch with some ugly veg…