Butternut squash and ginger soup

Starter serves 4 - 6
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Once cooked and blended, squashes take on the flavours of spices as if they were made for each other. Try using other spices like chilli, cumin and lemongrass for variations on this soup.

A good knob of butter

1 small leek, roughly chopped and washed

1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped

30g root ginger, scraped and finely chopped

A few sprigs of thyme

1kg butternut squash, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped

1/2litre vegetable stock (a good quality cube will do)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gently cook the leek, onion, ginger and thyme in the butter until soft, add the butternut squash and vegetable stock, bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper then simmer for 20 minutes.

Blend the soup in a liquidiser until smooth, then strain through a fine meshed sieve. Reheat the soup and adjust the consistency with a little vegetable stock or water if necessary and re-season with salt and pepper.