SMOKEY SQUASH & CORN CHOWDER
I get a little obsessive about getting my five-a-day once the cold weather arrives, trying to ensure I consume every vitamin possibly available to me. Having a big vat of soup bubbling away on the stove definitely makes this a more appealing task.
Using chipotle paste gives this a more gentle warmth rather than the full spiciness of using plain chili. Roasting all the vegetables first adds a bit of sweetness to the soup (and also saves me a lot of tears from peeling onions) so it is worth putting the extra time into doing this.
I’ve used smoked sea-salt here to up the smokey flavour but it’s by no means essential. It’s also up to you whether you choose to use milk or cream, obviously the cream adds a touch of luxury and indulgence but I tend to use milk because I eat this so often.
1 small butternut squash
1 medium red onion
1 clove garlic
600ml vegetable stock
2 tsp chipotle paste
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Rub the cut sides lightly with oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cut the onion in half but don’t bother to peel it, don’t peel the garlic clove either. Place the squash and the onion cut-side down on a baking tray, and roast at 180°c for 30 minutes. add the garlic and roast for a further 30 minutes until everything is tender.
Let the vegetables cool a little so that you can handle them. Remove the skin from the onion and garlic and roughly chop them. Scoop the flesh from the squash and put all of the vegetables into a large saucepan. Mix in the chipotle paste and cinnamon.
Pour on the vegetable stock and bring to the boil for a few minutes.
Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree it until completely smooth. Stir in the milk/cream. Add the sweetcorn and return to the heat until the corn is tender. Check the seasoning and add a little more salt and black pepper if needed.
Serve with a little sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika.