Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Recipe corner - Roasted squash and thyme soup with Gruyere

Oh dear - long time, no post. The standard reason for a diet blog to go quiet is that said dieter has fallen spectacularly off the wagon and is lying in the gutter with crumbs down their front. While not quite plumbing the depths, there may well have been a pizza ordered at some point. Dominos have started adding a layer of pesto to one of their bases and I am very fond of pesto. It was research, people!

I went to a new meeting last night which is far more conveniently situated than previous ones but does involve walking past my favourite curry house which was smelling particularly delicious. My resolve was sorely tested – a special murghi massala with pilau rice would have gone down very well after the ritual humiliation that is the Weigh In. Luckily, I had my tea all planned out and so was able to resist – just.

This soup recipe is adapted from a Rick Stein effort on the BBC website (from where the photo also is taken - I must get into the habit of taking my own photos, although they never make the food look very appetising). I say adapted, but really, I’ve just substituted half fat crème fraiche for single cream and cut out a bit of oil. Most WWers are big fans of zero point soup and it may seem counter intuitive to start bunging butter, cream and cheese into it, but the result was a delicious, velvety, rich concoction which made an extremely filling tea. Our squash was freakishly big, which meant the soup was a touch thicker than what would be my personal preference, but you can always adjust the stock to solid ratio as per your own tastes.


Butternut squash
40g butter
1-2 tsp dried thyme
Litre of chicken stock*
4 tbsp half fat crème fraiche
120g Gruyere cheese

*One day I swear I will be sufficiently foodiefied to make my own stock. Until that day comes, I am very partial to the Knorr stock pots.

Serves 4, 6 pro points per person

Split the squash in half lengthways, and remove all the seeds and fibres from the cavity. Cut into large wedges, spray with a little oil and season the wedges well. Roast in a hot oven for about 40 mins, until tender.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat. Tip in the onion, season and add the thyme and allow to soften but not colour.

When the squash is cooked, allow to cool slightly before removing the skin and adding to the pan. Cover with the stock and simmer for about ten minutes, adjusting the seasoning as necessary (I find squash needs a lot of salt to counteract the sweetness, but bear in mind that the stock itself will have a fair amount of salt in it).

Blitz to a puree and then return to the heat, stirring in the crème fraiche. Serve with the Gruyere coarsely grated on top.

NB: D is of the opinion it would be easier to peel the squash before putting it in the oven to roast. I’ve kept to Rick’s method here, but you may wish to consider it, especially if you are in a rush – the squash can take quite a while to get to handling temperature.


  1. Yum! I make a squash soup by roasting a squash (skin on!) sprinkled with rosemary, scooping out the flesh and blitzing with stock. I just have it with parma ham crisped up in the oven as a more point-friendly thing than bacon (bf gets bacon). It's delicious and only a point or two for the ham. Would like to try this version. And above my mum's version which has almost a whole jar of peanut butter in - eeek!

    Well done on resisting the curry. And Carluccio's fresh pesto is great - have you tried it?


  2. This sounds delicious. It's 30 degrees here at the moment so not really soup weather, but this is one I will be remembering come winter. Yummo!

  3. m!! i made roasted squash soup last night for tonight's supper!!! roasted some garlic with it as well! very yummy!!!

    happy sunny january!

  4. Mmm - I love pesto too, but I was sorely disappointed by the Domino's base when I tried it before Xmas - I just found it rather tasteless and too oily for my liking - I'd much rather have a plain pizza I think.

    The soup sounds good either in it's current format as a bit more of a treat, or I guess it would be easy to play around with the butter and cheese amounts to adjust the points down even further for belt-tightening times. Shall definitely try!

  5. Mmmm I've just had another bowl for my lunch...I lurve the way you get ribbons of cheese hanging off your chin - the splodges of soup on my white top are not so good!!

    Peridot - love the idea of crisped up Parma ham, and have not tried Carluccio's pesto but will keep a watch out.

    Cait - 30 degrees...we got up to 5 the other day and got quite excited :-)

    Victoria - great minds :-)

    Starfish - Yep, oily and not that tasty but it had to be tried so I knew that...I want to play around with my own pizza bases this year and I do like the idea of a pesto layer in principle so might have to work on a nicer version...