Butternut and Saffron Soup
900g/2 lb butternut squash.
55g/2 oz unsalted butter.
1 medium onion.
Up to 1 litre/2 pints stock (veg, chicken or meat will all work with this soup, but my favourite is a wild duck stock. Real stock will make a much nicer soup than cubes).
A few strands saffron soaked in a little cold water.
Salt and pepper to season.
1. Peel deseed and chop the butternut squash into inch dice. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and sweat the onions for a few minutes. Add the pumpkin and cook for a few minutes more.
2. Heat the stock to boiling and pour over the squash – how much is dependant on how thick you like the soup, I like it thick so only use about 600ml/1 pint.
3. Add the saffron water and simmer until the squash is soft.
4. Remove from the heat and blend. For a really smooth soup, pass through a sieve.
I like to serve this soup garnished with grated goats cheese, crispy bacon bits or pumpkin seeds (those with enough time on your hands could shell and lightly toast the seeds from the butternut used to make it).