As I write this post, my teeth are chattering and my knees are shaking. It’s officially Winter! It’s been chilly for the last couple of weeks but this morning, my hot tea doesn’t seem to have the same power as it did a few weeks ago. But don’t think I’m complaining, not for a second! I’m a good and proper Winter baby. Born in the middle of Winter must surely have an effect on how you feel about the season and I just absolutely love it. By August I start yearning for the freshness and ‘lightness’ of Summer but other than that, I love everything about Winter.
I especially love that I can make flavourful and comforting soups like this to feed the family. Instead of just cooking the butternut and pears in the stock, I decided to roast them to add lots of deep flavour. After roasting, I allowed them to simmer in vegetable stock (you could also use chicken stock if you prefer) for 10 minutes with a bay leaf, sauteed onions and garlic and then quickly blitzed them with my hand blender before serving with the most delicious Gorgonzola toasts.
I made a creamy ‘spread’ with Gorgonzola and double cream to top home-made ciabatta toast and they were the perfect accompaniment to the smooth and slightly sweet soup. Perfect for a lazy Winter supper. (Freeze the left-overs for a quick lunch option)
For the roasted butternut & pears
2 medium butternuts, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into large chunks (approximately 2 big handfuls)
4 pears, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
for the soup
1 tbsp butter
splash of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2-2.5l vegetable stock
salt & pepper to taste
for the Gorgonzola toasts
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
- Place the butternut and pears in a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and toss to coat the butternut and pears in the olive oil.
- Place in the oven and allow to roast for 30-45 minutes until the butternut and pears are cooked through and caramelised on the edges.
- In a large pot, melt the butter with a splash of olive oil and fry the onion, garlic and bay leaf until soft and translucent.
- Add the cooked butternut and pears to the pot and fry for a minute before adding the stock.
- Allow to simmer for 10 minutes before removing the bay leaf and blitzing in a blender or with a hand blender.
- Add the cream and stir through. Season to taste and serve. (I served the soup sprinkled with some dried smoked chillies for heat but this is optional.)
- To make the Gorgonzola toasts, chop the cheese fine and mash/blend with the cream. You could also mix it with a hand mixer which will make it slighly moussey.
- Serve the spread on toasted ciabatta.