Hmm, what to make with these things in the fridge that need eating up when I'm feeling uninspired? Yes, it was that kind of weekend. Faced with a butternut squash, a yellow pepper and some single cream that was going out of date, I fell back on that old reliable solution: soup. And let me tell you, despite its unpromising origins it was delicious. Smooth, spicy, warming and a beautiful golden colour. What else to call it but Sunshine Soup!
Here's how I made it (and rest assured, despite the photo it does not contain any palm tree).
Sunshine Soup (or Stew)
Serves 4-6 people, depending how hungry you are.
1 medium sized onion
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root
400g butternut squash (peeled and de-seeded)
1 yellow pepper
1 medium potato
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp black pepper
1 tin chopped tomatoes (or you could use fresh)
Peel and chop the onion and the ginger, and fry in a large saucepan over a gentle heat in a splash of sesame oil. Cut the squash into chunks and add to the pan. De-seed and chop up the yellow pepper and add it too. Cut the potato into small dice and add to the pan, stir the mixture well.
Sprinkle over the cayenne pepper (I have left the amount to your discretion, you know how hot and spicy you like your food! If you're not sure, add a little to start with, you can always add more but it's impossible to reduce it once it's in there), paprika, cumin seeds and black pepper, stir well again and pour over enough stock to completely cover the vegetables.
Turn up the heat and bring to a gentle boil. Add the tin of tomatoes, and simmer until the vegetables are all nice and soft.*
Using a stick blender or a food processor, blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour in some cream and stir well. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve with crusty bread.
* It has occurred to me that at this stage you could adapt the recipe into a hearty, spicy vegetarian stew by adding a tin of kidney beans or chick peas. I would serve it like this with rice.
This recipe may have originated as a serendipitous mixture of disparate ingredients, but it was so delicious I will definitely be making it again! Let me know if you make any!