This soup recipe is so easy to make: the veg are simply roasted then blitzed. It’s fantastic finished with a trickle of good, sweet balsamic vinegar.
– 1 small-medium cauliflower (about 700g)
– About 600g squash, such as a small onion squash, or ½ large butternut or a chunk of Crown Prince
– 1 large onion, roughly chopped
– 4 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
– 2 tbsp roughly chopped sage, plus a few finely ribboned leaves to finish
– 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
– 1 litre hot veg stock (see page 190 for home-made)
– Sea salt and black pepper
– Balsamic vinegar
– Flaky sea salt, to sprinkle
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.
2. Remove any very damaged or tough looking leaves from the outside of the cauliflower and trim the very end of the stalk. Then roughly chop the rest of the cauliflower – stem, leaves and all and put into a large roasting tray.
3. Peel and deseed the squash then cut into bite-sized chunks. Add these to the roasting tray with the onion, whole garlic cloves and chopped sage.
4. Trickle over the oil, season with salt and pepper and stir well.
5. Roast for about 45 minutes until the vegetables are soft and nicely caramelised, stirring halfway through. Make sure there’s some good colour on the cauliflower especially – this adds to the flavour of the finished soup.
6. You now need to purée the soup with the hot veg stock. There’s a lot of veg here, so do this in two batches: blitz half the veg with half the stock in a blender until smooth then pour into a large saucepan; repeat with the rest of the veg and stock.
7. Once the two batches are reunited, you may want to add a touch of hot water to thin the soup a little. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed, and reheat if necessary.
8. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, splash some balsamic onto each serving then add a little finely ribboned sage, ground pepper and a few grains of flaky sea salt.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster widely known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food.
He has earned a huge following through his River Cottage TV series and books, as well as campaigns such as Hugh’s Fish Fight. River Cottage has given millions of TV viewers a taste for great cooking since 1998, when Hugh first brought his famous food ethos to Channel 4.