Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

What does winter mean for me? Cosy nights in watching old movies I’ve seen a thousand times before, while wearing thick-knitted socks and embarrassing Christmas jumpers. Oh and soup – lots and lots of soup.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

So now that winter is coming – you can thank Game of Thrones for that one – I wanted to give you a soup recipe to warm your insides on the cold and frosty evenings. Or to get you through that inevitable winter cold or flu, that only plenty of rest, re-watches of Friends and lashings of soup will cure.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

This Butternut Squash Soup recipe has never let me down. I first created this recipe at University, and I have been fine-tuning it ever since. This was always my go to meal when I needed something satisfying and nutritious on a small student budget. It’s basic and easy, but does the job. No frills – just simple, hearty good food.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

While I’ve been making and adapting this soup recipe for years, I only recently decided to add the crouton element to the dish. The croutons really give the soup a whole new dimension, elevating it from a little bowl of goodness, to a fully fledged wholesome meal. You don’t have to be a smarty pants to know that Rosemary and Butternut Squash is a killer combo. These are classic flavours paired quickly and easily to bring you a comfort blanket in liquid form.

p.s. I do not recommend using this soup as a blanket. Eat the soup – then grab a blanket. K?

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Garlic and Rosemary Croutons

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1" cubes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 pint of organic vegetable stock
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • For the Garlic and Rosemary Croutons
  • 300g gluten free bread, cut into 1" cubes
  • 80ml garlic olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven the to 180°c. Meanwhile peel, deseed and chop the butternut squash into 1" cubes. Place the butternut squash on a baking tray and drizzle over 2 tbsp olive oil to lightly coat the squash. Sprinkle over 1 tsp of rosemary and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes and roast until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, slowly fry off the diced onion on a low heat with the remaining tbsp of olive oil. Once soft add the minced garlic and the potato chunks and fry for 1 minute on a medium heat.
  3. Now add the vegetable stock to the onion and potato and allow to boil, then simmer until the potato is soft. This will usually take between 15-20 minutes.
  4. Take the roasted butternut squash out of the oven once soft and add to the stock mixture. Season with sea salt, and black pepper and stir everything together until well combined.
  5. Whizz the mixture in a blender. If the soup is too thick for your liking add a little more hot vegetable stock and blend again. Taste, and add more seasoning if needed. If the soup has cooled, return to the pan and re-heat.
  6. For the Garlic and Rosemary Croutons
  7. Combine the garlic oil, fresh rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic in a mixing bowl. Warm the mixture in a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the sliced bread to the pan and mix until the oil has been completely soaked up by the bread.
  8. Fry until the bread is golden brown and nicely toasted, stirring occasionally.
  9. Pour the soup out into bowls and top with the crispy croutons.
  10. Enjoy!

I’m please to announce the winner of the giveaway is…

DRUMROLL PLEASE…

JAMES!

He wins a 250g bag of Mexico El Cuarenteno courtesy of Grey Seal Coffee Roasters.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who entered, commented and made the cookies! Plus a huge thank you to Grey Seal Coffee Roasters for making this giveaway possible. You guys rock!

If you want to keep up-to-date with all things Grey Seal – why not follow them on twitter at @Greysealcoffee?

 

 

Mocha Cookies Recipe

 

There’s nothing quite like a good cup of coffee on a peaceful sunday morning. Within the last year, my partner Dan has introduced me to what good coffee really means. Before – my idea of a posh cup of coffee was Douwe Egberts’s Gold Blend instant. Yep. All baristas – cover your ears. Sorry.

But within the last year, we have gone from bog standard instant blend, to a Dolce Gusto coffee machine, to a no frills cafetiere, to finally an Aeropress coffee maker. If you would have asked me what an Aeropress was 12 months ago, I’d have thought you were talking about some kind of space equipment an astronaut might use. Now that the Aeropress is on the scene, we’ve never looked back – and Dan didn’t let us stop there. We stopped using generic supermarket instant brands in favour of grinding our own coffee beans straight from local coffee independents and suppliers.

I’m a big lover and supporter of local produce from my home county of Norfolk. For those of you not familiar with Norfolk – we’re a very remote and quaint (to put it politely) part of the UK. But that’s part of it’s charm for me. So when I found out about local coffee roasters Grey Seal – I was ecstatic. Shocked even. Coffee… being roasted… in Norfolk?! I had to get me some of this. These chaps carefully select and import small batches of coffee from all across the big wide world, but freshly roast it right here in Norfolk – only 2 miles from the sea, and a few miles further from my home. You can even visit the Roastery to have a little chat about coffee, brewing methods or to try some samples. This is coffee with a personal touch.

 

Mocha Cookies Recipe

 

After months and months of drinking and sampling different batches of Grey Seal Coffee – I decided it was high time I used some of their beautifully rich little beans in a recipe. Especially after recently reading up on some of the quite surprising health benefits of said coffee.

 

Mocha Cookies Recipe

 

I’ve always enjoyed the classic combination of coffee and chocolate – everyone does right? Ok, well if you don’t – I find that a little bit weird. In the nicest way possible! Hand me a tiramisu or some chocolate coffee cake ANYDAY. Needless to say, I figured chocolate and coffee cookies might be the way forward. Mocha Cookies even. That’s a bit catchier.

 

Mocha Cookies Recipe

 

As these are flourless cookies, the main ingredient is primarily chocolate!!! So you should definitely opt for a really good quality one for these. I would recommend anything from 70% cocoa upwards, and potentially organic if you can afford that little extra. I’m a big fan of Green and Black’s Organic Dark Cooking Chocolate. But I’ll leave it up to you to choose your favourite!

 

Mocha Cookies Recipe

 

For the mocha part of the cookies, I ground up some of Grey Seal’s Guatemala Huehuetenango on the day of use, so the coffee was as fresh as possible. The smell alone after grinding the beans was incredible. It was enough to get me salivating before I’d even started prepping the cookies.

 

Mocha Cookies Recipe

 

Without the mass of flour in this recipe, it really allows the key ingredients of the coffee and chocolate to shine. The flavours are intense – in a good ‘give me more’ kind of way. The cookies have a beautiful crisp and shiny shell when they come out of the oven, but are soft and squishy in texture as you bite into them.

 

Mocha Cookies Recipe

 

“But how do I get my hands on some Grey Seal Coffee?” – I hear you cry. Well – never fear! The kind folks at Grey Seal Coffee have given me some of their Mexico El Cuarenteno to giveaway! This coffee has rich body, citrus and honey notes and a cocoa aroma. Ideal for making your own flourless mocha cookies!

Enter below in the rafflecopter to be in with a chance of winning. You’ll be introduced to a whole new world of wonderful coffee, that’s for sure.

Mocha Cookies Recipe

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For postage reasons, I’m only accepting UK entries only. Accept my huge apologies to those readers from the rest of the world!

Find out more about Grey Seal Coffee

 

Mocha Cookies Recipe

 

 

Mocha Cookies Recipe

Flourless Mocha Cookies

Makes: 10 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 200g 70% dark chocolate
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 120g dark brown sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp espresso powder, I used Grey Seal's Guatemala Huehuetenango
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of maldon sea salt
  • 50g dark chocolate, cut into chunks
  • For the decoration
  • 50g dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Grind your coffee into an espresso powder if using coffee beans.
  2. In a bowl set over a pan of simmering hot water, gently melt together the 200g dark chocolate and coconut oil until completely melted and set aside to cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy and then fold in the melted chocolate. Finally, fold in the cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder and sea salt.
  4. Chill the dough for around an hour and then preheat the oven to 180°c. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Take the dough out of the fridge and stir in the dark chocolate chunks.
  5. Scoop tablespoons of the dough onto the baking trays and flatten with the back of a spoon. Bake for about 10 - 12 minutes until firm and shiny. Allow to cool a little before transferring to a wire rack.
  6. While the cookies are cooling, melt some dark chocolate in a bowl set over some simmering water. Stir until smooth. Once the cookies are completely cool, drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies for decoration.
  7. EAT!

Notes

Recipe adapted from London Bakes Flourless Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies