Souperb. This does take a bit of preparation, but it is totally worth it for the real depth of flavour. The roasting of the squash and the garlic brings out an intense, smoky sweetness that runs throughout the dish
• 1 large butternut squash, diced, skin left on
• 4 garlic cloves, left whole, with papery skin removed
• olive oil, for cooking
• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
• 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
• 250g red lentils
• 1 litre vegetable stock
• 3-4 teaspoons green pesto, (optional)
• sea salt
• black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the diced butternut squash and garlic in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and the dried herbs.
2 Mix well and roast in the oven for 20–25 minutes, or until the squash is browning at the edges and the skin is crisp. The garlic will have turned a goldenish colour, too.
3 Heat a little olive oil in a pan, add the onion and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until softened. Add the roasted squash, garlic and lentils. Add enough vegetable stock to cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked.
4 Season with salt and pepper. Transfer in batches to a jug blender and process to a soup. 5 Add a little more stock if the soup is too thick. Transfer to serving bowls and drizzle with a swirl of pesto in each bowl, if using. It’s delicious served with toast topped with soft, fresh goat’s cheese.
Recipe courtesy of Dale Pinnock, extracted from The Medicinal Chef