Spiced ambercup squash soup with coconut milk

I’m so behind with my blogging. I have the utmost respect for anyone who manages to post once a week. As for those who do it daily – I bow down to you. Life has taken over recently, so here I am posting a very belated autumn recipe with blatant disregard for seasonality. Don’t go looking for ambercups now; you’ll be sorely disappointed….

Anyway, back in November, I was wandering around Brixton farmers’ market and found myself captivated by the crates of amazing squashes. Beautiful things in every shape and size: smooth, knobbly, bulbous, bent, some fat and round; others twisted and otherworldly; a rainbow of orange, yellow, gold and green.

This ambercup squash took my fancy. Like a miniature pumpkin, with a typical round shape, deep orange hue, lovely stripes and a contrasting green tip. I bought a couple and they sat on my kitchen windowsill looking pretty for a week.

Then I made them into this soup. It would have been quick and simple, had my stick blender not exploded in my face. Luckily the soup survived, as did my eyebrows – just! – but a chunky texture wasn’t floating my boat, so the soup was temporarily abandoned and confined to the freezer until Amazon delivered my spanking new Breville appliance.

It was worth the wait. When – days later – I finally puréed the soup and blended in coconut milk, the outcome was silky smooth, mildly spiced and nutty.

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Caramelised red onion chutney

The recipes catching my eye lately have been sauces, chutneys, reductions and preserves. These are the extra bits I never get round to. I can make a roux, of course, and I’ve whizzed up a pesto or two, but when it comes to sauces and condiments, I’m usually tempted way more by a luxury jar from a fancy deli (or even Tesco extra-special!) than by the idea of attempting a recipe with a risk of splitting, that requires me to chop 800 onions or where I have to wait a month for the flavours to ‘mature’. And I’m rather partial to a bottle of squeezy Hellman’s.

So perhaps it’s setting up home that has made me suddenly crave cupboards full of hand-labelled jars and fancy self-made sauces with my dinner. As the crunchy wholesomeness of autumn descended last week, I gave in to the urge and made this chutney.

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