The day has arrived! Tonight I'll be heading over to Sainsbury's HQ in central London to participate in a food allergy and intolerance dinner party. Can't wait! Me and pippa will be cooking in the "sweet kitchen" while other bloggers will be cooking in the "savory kitchen". I have no clue what to expect - other than some delicious and allergy-friendly recipes - but I'll be certain to blog all about it tomorrow. Also, I just got a parcel at my doorstep this morning from my Mom in San Diego - a whole box full of goodies! But the thing I'm most excited about is the quinoa pasta. Yes, pasta (in all different shapes) made from quinoa! I'm really looking forward to trying it out soon. She also threw in some larabars and easter candy - the lady knows me well :)
For now, let's rewind to Sunday evening. After our massive lunch + cupcakes, I wanted to make something nice and light (and HEALTHY) for dinner. Which brought me to this soup. I picked up a butternut squash at the farmer's market on Saturday, and already had about 6 granny smith apples that weren't going to be eaten by themselves (I prefer braeburn or cox, don't you?). The result is a naturally creamy and sweet soup. Served with the cheese and thyme toasts, it is the perfect dinner on a cold night. Plenty of leftovers for lunches this week too!
Squash & Apple-Ginger Soup with Cheese & Thyme Toasts
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1-inch piece root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into cubes
- 5 apples (any variety), cored and roughly chopped
- 1 1/4 litres vegetable stock
- for the toast: 1 french baguette, sliced diagonally; 1 tbsp grainy mustard; 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used goat cheddar); 1 handful thyme leaves
- Fry the onion and garlic in some olive oil in a deep pan until soft. Season, then stir in the ginger and allspice, and fry for another minute or two. Add the squash and apple, cover and gently sweat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the stock and gently simmer for 20 minutes, or until everything is soft.
- Once cooled a little, puree with an immersion blender. Taste, adding extra seasoning if needed, then reheat in a saucepan.
- Meanwhile, make the toast: toast up the slices of bread (under the grill or in a toaster oven), butter them if you like, then spread with the mustard. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top, and finish with the thyme leaves. Grill until bubbling and lightly browned.
- Serve the soup with a slice of cheese toast each.
Lesson learned: I think this is the first time I've had cheese on toast (aka grilled cheese to the American peeps) in yeeeeeeears. But I've never had it with mustard and thyme before. Really yummy.