Despite having to discard a few because of blight infection, most of the tomatoes I brought indoors to ripen have done well, and we have been eating them in loads of different ways. Before they are all gone I wanted to use some to make one of my favourite dishes - tomato and butternut squash soup.
At present I have an abundance of ripe chillis too, so my soup is the "Deluxe" version! Having said that, it's still dead easy to make.
Ingredients. Serves 3 - 4 people. (NB: quantities given are not critical!)
1 litre good stock (chicken or vegetable is best)
Approx 1kg ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
Half of a decent-sized Butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
4 chillis of various types, halved and de-seeded (adjust according to preference, and heat of chillis)
One stick of Celery or Leaf Celery, cut into short sections
50g of small-diameter dried pasta (spaghetti, linguine etc) broken into small pieces
A sprinkling of dried Thyme (You can use fresh if available, but discard the stalks if you do)
Approx 50ml vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients other than the stock and the pasta in a suitable roasting-tin and mix thoroughly.
Cook for approx. 40 minutes at 160C, until vegetables are soft and just beginning to go brown at the edges.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes
Pour contents of roasting-tin into a food-processor
Process until the desired texture is achieved. I like it to be fairly rough, not completely smooth.
Transfer processed vegetables to a deep pan and add the stock and the dried pasta. I used (appropriately) this pumpkin-flavoured pasta which I bought in France. It's called "Les Patinelles":
The stock tones down the colour a lot.
Simmer gently until the pasta is cooked
I "enhanced" my soup by the last-minute addition of some cooked sliced Runner Beans, in much the same way as you might add some croutons, but that of course is entirely at your discretion.
I also served the soup with some grated cheese and some home-made bread, which I think was probably more important!
This soup was sweet from the Butternut, savoury from the tomatoes, and spicy from the chilli - a perfect combination!