Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The big freeze...

Until last week I was still swimming in the sea without batting an eyelid. Now the autumn storms have arrived. The dusty roads are puddles again and the rain seems to have sent the message to the ferns to turn rusty brown. Scilly changes immediately once the autumn arrives. It's suddenly much quieter although you still see happy visitors lying with their backs on warm rocks enjoying the seclusion of a beach to themselves. 

It's time to start filling the freezer too. The last of the apples I used to make jam with have been sitting waiting so I made them into apple sauce and froze it into portions ready for crumbles, granola and roast pork. Blackberries are all bagged and frozen and the herbs in the garden have all been picked and frozen or made into jellies. I had a basket full of mini butternut squashes leftover from the Food Festival  so this week I decided to make my winter soup base. I make it every year- a really basic vegetable soup with a freeze into portions and then add things to so I don't get bored. Ideas to add to this one include...

* Toasted nduja (you can stir through or just place on top)
* Add coconut cream and  1tsp of thai red curry sauce
* Add leftover chopped vegetables and shredded chicken from a roast dinner
* Fry some pancetta and stir through then crumble in some Cornish Blue cheese
* Or spread it on to pizza bases as an alternative to tomato and top with crispy chorizo, goats cheese and fresh rocket

Winter Soup Base.....(serves 16 portions) 

12 mini butternut squashes or 4-5 larger ones
2 small white onions
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
4 pints of chicken stock

In a large pan put the finely sliced onions and oil on a low heat and cook until soft. Add the cubes of butternut squash (about the size of a 10p piece) and continue cooking for around 10 minutes. Add the stock and crushed garlic and bring to the boil. Boil until you can cut through the squash pieces easily. 

With a hand mixer blend until smooth. Leave to cool and portion up and freeze. Use within 6 months.