Mary Berry's butternut squash soup
- 1.5kg/3lb 5oz peeled and deseeded butternut squash, cut into 3cm/1¼in cubes (see tip)
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into cubes
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp clear honey (optional)
- 5cm/2in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1.5 litres/2½ pints vegetable stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
Tip the prepared squash into a large, resealable freezer bag with the onion, carrots and red pepper. Add half the oil and salt and pepper and toss everything together until the vegetables are evenly coated. Tip into a large roasting tin and spread out to form a single layer.
Roast in the oven for 40–45 minutes, or until tender and tinged brown. Drizzle over the honey, if using, 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
Place the large, deep-sided saucepan over a medium heat, add the remaining oil and, when it is hot, add the ginger and fry for a minute. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then stir in the roasted vegetables and add salt and pepper.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and, using a hand blender, blend the mixture until smooth. Return to the heat to warm through and serve hot with crusty bread.
If covered and chilled in the fridge, this dish can be made up to 3 days ahead.
If stored in a freezer-proof bag or container, this soup freezes well for up to 3 months.
Ready-prepared butternut squash can be bought from supermarkets and makes this soup even quicker to prepare. If you grow your own, use young butternut squash as they are easier to peel.
Roasting the squash, rather than boiling it in a pan, really brings out the flavour in the soup.
The soup can be vegan if you leave out the honey or replace with a vegan friendly sweetener.