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Autumn's here so why not cosy up with a delicious heart-warming soup?

Now that Halloween outfits have been packed away, sweets scoffed and fireworks fizzled, we’ve been enjoying hunkering down in the evenings in front of our log fire with our 4 legged friends at our feet.

On our blustery family dog walks at the weekend we really noticed that the fields are littered with beautiful red, orange and gold leaves – Autumn is well and truly here! Thank goodness for our boot jacks to keep our hands clean and our wall hanging welly boot rack to keep our boot room mud and clutter free on our return!

              

With 4 kids, 5 dogs, 2 businesses and a plethora of family hobbies, ranging from rugby to riding, meal times often have to be quick and easy for us but that doesn’t mean they can’t be hearty and wholesome too. Why not warm your cockles with a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup, with this quick and easy to prepare recipe, enjoyed with a slab of crusty bread sliced on beautiful solid oak bread board and served on a unique oak Soup & Serving platter! It's a hit with my whole family!

Ingredients (serves 4 so we double it for our family giving us extra for seconds or to freeze!)

  • 1 butternut squash, about 1kg, peeled and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 mild red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 850ml hot vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche, plus more to serve

Method

  • STEP 1  Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  • STEP 2. Cut the squash into large cubes, about 4cm/1½in across, then toss in a large roasting tin with 1 tbsp of the olive oil.
  • STEP 3. Roast for 30 mins, turning once during cooking, until golden and soft.
  • STEP 4. While the butternut squash cooks, melt the butter with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan then add the onions, garlic clove and three-quarters of the chillies.
  • STEP 5. Cover and cook on a very low heat for 15-20 mins until the onions are completely soft.
  • STEP 6 Tip the butternut squash into the pan, add the stock and crème fraîche( if desired) , then whizz with a stick blender until smooth.
  • STEP 7 Return to the pan, gently reheat, then season to taste. Serve the soup in bowls with swirls of crème fraîche and a scattering of the remaining chopped chilli.

Cheat Tip: Use a soup maker. If you don’t have one, put it on your Christmas Wish List!

           

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