• 1.8kg/4lb wedges of butternut squash

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 6 cloves garlic - 4 whole, unpeeled and 2 finely chopped

  • 2 sprigs of thyme

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 2 carrots, finely sliced

  • 2 sticks celery, finely sliced

  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped sage

  • 2 litres/3½ pints hot vegetable stock

  • For the Parsley Purée

  • 1 bunch flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 30g/1oz parmesan, finely grated

  • 100ml/3½fl oz extra virgin olive oil

  • lemon juice, to taste


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 9.

  • 2.

    Cut the butternut squash (including skin) into 7cm/3in wedges and scoop out the seeds using a large spoon. Brush the wedges with 1 tbsp olive oil, place in a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until soft and caramelised.

  • 3.

    After 25 minutes of cooking, add the unpeeled garlic and the sprigs of thyme.

  • 4.

    Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions, carrots, celery, sage and remaining garlic and cook gently for 10-15 minutes until soft but not brown.

  • 5.

    Pour the stock into the vegetables, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

  • 6.

    Allow the squash to cool for 5 minutes when cooked. Using a large spoon remove the flesh from the skin and add to the stock. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin into the stock and discard the thyme.

  • 7.

    Simmer the stock and vegetables for a further 5 minutes or until the squash is beginning to break up.

  • 8.

    Place the soup in a blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and gently reheat. Check seasoning.

  • 9.

    Make the parsley purée place the chopped parsley into a food processor with the garlic and parmesan. Process until smooth. With the motor still running, slowly add the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  • 10.

    Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with a spoonful of the parsley purée. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

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