As one of the five ‘mother sauces’ of French cuisine velouté can turn out both tasty and velvety without having to use animal stock

Butternut squash velouté with toasted pumpkin seeds by Simon Gueller

Despite the elegant presentation, this butternut squash velouté recipe from Simon Gueller is relatively straightforward to put together. The starter celebrates the exquisite versatility of squash, making the most of butternut, pumpkin seed and pumpkin oil.

Yorkshire’s epicureans have a lot to thank Simon Gueller for. Here’s a chef who creates tasteful dishes with local tastes; who produces refined, lovely looking food in an elegant setting.

100g of butter
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves
​1000g of butternut squash
2l vegetable stock
​200g of double cream
​200g of pumpkin seeds, toasted
50g of pumpkin seed oil
50g of extra virgin olive oil
50g of water
50g of sugar
​200g of butternut squash​
100ml of rice wine vinegar (such as Minus 8)
1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 handful of micro herbs
Pumpkin seed oil
Salt

To make the velouté, place a heavy-based pan and add the butter. Once foaming, add the onion and sweat until soft but not coloured, then add the garlic and cook out for an additional 3-4 minutes. Peel and roughly dice the squash. Add to the pan and stir to coat in the onion, garlic and butter for 5 minutes. Add the stock and cook until the squash is soft and tender. Add the cream, bring to a simmer and remove from the heat​.

Place in a blender and blitz until very smooth. Season to taste and pass through a fine strainer before setting aside to cool. For the pumpkin seed paste combine all of the ingredients together in a blender and blitz until smooth. Season to taste and set aside​. For the pickled butternut squash, bring the vinegar, water and sugar to the boil in a pan, then reduce the heat but keep hot. Use a peeler to take thin strips off the butternut squash and place into the hot pickling liquor. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Reheat the velouté and use a stick blender to froth slightly. Pour into warm serving bowls, wrap a strip of pickled squash around your finger to form a ring and place into the soup. Finish with a swipe of the pumpkin seed paste, a drizzle of the oil, the toasted seeds and the micro herbs. Serve immediately.

 

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Chilled pea velouté with fennel sorbet and poached apricots by Graham Campbell

Graham Campbell’s dish makes a light and bright summer starter. This simple pea velouté recipe is made a little bit tougher by the inclusion of a fennel sorbet – but you can leave this out if you prefer. (Both the maltodextrin and stabiliser for the sorbet can be found online.) Despite his relatively young age, Graham Campbell possesses the gastronomic confidence and assured touch of a seasoned pro.

2 fennel bulbs
30g of maltodextrin
30g of ice cream stabiliser
​1000g of frozen peas
4 dried apricots
Salt

For the sorbet, slice the fennel and place in a pan of salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer until soft. Strain the fennel through a strainer, reserving 125ml of the cooking water. Blitz the fennel in a blender, adding sorbet stabiliser, maltrodextrin and 125ml water. Transfer to a pan and cook to 85C.

Season and refrigerate for 12 hours. Then churn in an ice-cream maker. Alternatively, freeze and whisk every so often until frozen. For the pea velouté, place the peas in a blender and add boiling water. Blend gradually until it has the consistency of soup. Season to taste and refrigerate​. To prepare the apricots, simply rehydrate in hot water for 30 minutes before serving. To serve, cut the apricots into quarters and arrange in a circle around each bowl. Place a scoop of sorbet in the middle of the bowl and pour in the soup

Recipes by Great British Chefs. Visit their site for more velouté recipes

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