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Grandma Singleton's Festive Squash & Chestnut Soup with Cheesy Crust

Serves 6

 

Ingrdientsbutternut-sqush-and-chestnut-soup.jpg

200g Grandma Singletons Red leicester cheese,  grated
250g Chestnut puree (tinned)
700ml Chicken or vegetable stock, approximately
200ml Double cream
2.5kg Butternut squash
1 Medium sized crusty baguette, sliced
Olive oil
Salt and Black pepper for seasoning
Optional: a drizzle of Brandy to add a bit of luxury

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.  Cut the butternut squash in halves and place flat side up on a baking tray.  Score the face of the squash with a knife, and then drizzle olive oil over them.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place into the oven and allow to bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  The squash will be ready when the flesh feels soft.  You can test this with a knife.
  3. Remove the squash from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees C.  Allow the squash to cool before using a rounded spoon to scoop the flesh away from the skin.
  4. Discard the skins and put the squash into a large saucepan.  Use a potato masher to crush the squash until it resembles mashed potato.
  5. Pour the stock over the squash in the pan.  Bring the soup to the boil then add the chestnut puree.  Allow to simmer for 5 minutes then reduce to a low heat.
  6. Add 75g of the grated cheese and allow to melt into the soup.  Add the cream and stir gently until combined.  Season again with salt and pepper.  At this stage add the brandy if desired.
  7. If you prefer a very smooth textured soup then at this point you may choose to use a hand blender to achieve this.  You may also think the soup is too thick for your liking, you can add more stock to make it a thinner soup.
  8. Pour your soup into a round ovenproof bowl.  Place slices of the cursty baguette over the top of the soup to form a lid/topping.  Spinkle the remaining 125g of Red Leicester over the top of the bread.
  9. Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until the bread has browned and the cheese has melted.
  10. Serve whilst hot with some more crusty bread.  Especially enjoyable when served in a christmas mug!