Butternut Squash and Chilli Soup with Homemade Soda Bread

20 Sep

I hate to be the one to admit it…..but it is getting cold. I had to wear gloves to cycle in to Uni yesterday. It makes me cry a little bit inside actually, I’m not a winter person at all. I feel the cold almost instantaneously, so much so in fact that I’ve had about three people compare me to a reptile (one has to presume they were referring to my inability to keep warm). It’s around about that time of year when it’s not cold enough for pies and big dinners, but I’m still looking for something with a bit of warmth and cosiness. This soup was fantastic – smooth, tasty and with a little bit of heat from the chilli, it was a comforting bowl of fabulousness. It’s also pretty healthy too as it uses creme fraiche instead of cream, and apart from that is made up with lots of veggies!

Sadly my soda bread didn’t turn out very well; I’ve never made soda bread before so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Next time I’ll follow my gut – it didn’t seem done when I took it out of the oven the first time, so I left it in for an additional 15 minutes. It still didn’t seem done to me, but I felt I ought to follow the recipe timings as much as I could, so I took it out anyway – big mistake. It needed at least another ten minutes. It must be my oven I think, because it had great reviews otherwise. Next time I might try putting in less buttermilk? If anyone has made this with success please let me know what the trick is. It had a wonderful taste, it just wasn’t cooked enough. On the plus side, it means that my baking instinct knows a little bit about bread! I’ll update the post next time I make it; it really is a fantastically easy bread recipe – all I needed to buy from the shop was buttermilk, I had everything else and whipped it up in under an hour (okay, it was underdone, but perhaps a slightly hotter oven next time will solve it).

Sorry for the quality of the picture, I was very snuggly on the couch and couldn’t bring myself to trek upstairs to get the good camera!

Butternut Squash and Chilli Soup (courtesy of BBC Good Food

Note: we doubled the quantities and it turned out just as well

  • 1 butternut squash , about 1kg, peeled and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions , diced
  • 1 garlic clove , thinly sliced
  • 2 mild red chillies , deseeded and finely chopped
  • 850ml hot vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche , plus more to serve
  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the squash into large cubes, about 4cm/1½in across, then toss in a large roasting tin with half the olive oil. Roast for 30 mins, turning once during cooking, until golden and soft.
  2. While the squash cooks, melt the butter with the remaining oil in a large saucepan, then add the onions, garlic and ¾ of the chilli. Cover and cook on a very low heat for 15-20 mins until the onions are completely soft.
  3. Tip the squash into the pan, add the stock and the crème fraîche, then whizz with a stick blender until smooth. For a really silky soup, put the soup into a liquidiser and blitz it in batches. Return to the pan, gently reheat, then season to taste. Serve the soup in bowls with swirls of crème fraîche and a scattering of the remaining chopped chilli.

Irish Soda Bread (also courtesy of BBC Good Food!) 

EDIT: This recipe didn’t work out well for me, but I’ve found a better one! Check out this post.

  • 250g plain white flour
  • 250g plain wholemeal flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g butter , cut in pieces
  • 500ml buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C and dust a baking sheet with flour. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then rub in the butter. Pour in the buttermilk and mix it in quickly with a table knife, then bring the dough together very lightly with your fingertips (handle it very, very gently). Now shape it into a flat, round loaf measuring 20cm/8in in diameter.
  2. Put the loaf on the baking sheet and score a deep cross in the top. (Traditionally, this lets the fairies out, but it also helps the bread to cook through.) Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If it isn’t ready after this time, turn it upside down on the baking sheet and bake for a few minutes more.
  3. Transfer to a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel (this keeps the crust nice and soft) and leave to cool. To serve, break into quarters, then break or cut each quarter in half to make 8 wedges or slices – or simply slice across. Eat very fresh.

One Response to “Butternut Squash and Chilli Soup with Homemade Soda Bread”


  1. Soda Bread … Take II « DrinksAndNibbles - September 30, 2012

    […] last soda bread didn’t go so well, but a good friend of mine pointed out that apparently Mr Ramsay was doing […]

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