I had been dreading spending my 40th alone so I was so happy to have my mama here and it turned out to be a quietly beautiful sort of day. Mother and I started the day by going out for breakfast and then walked to the shops and the Aberdeen Art Gallery, which has a great collection and is free to visit. (I can’t wait to take Mary Polly!)
We also had lunch last week at Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in Aberdeen, which was such a treat! I’ve been introduced to Jamie Oliver by some precious folk here who hosted Taido upon his arrival and who’ve had us for the most delicious curry! I skimmed a cookbook of theirs and then searched it out on my own (found half off at TKMaxx), so Taido and the kids cooked recipes from it for our birthday dinner. (My mom’s birthday is just two days after mine.)
My favorite was this divine apple and squash soup! I know it’s quite warm back home in Arkansas but it is definitely fall here in Scotland. The weather is already cold for these southern girls, so a comforting soup was absolutely delightful. I’m sure we’ll make it often this year as it was a favorite (favourite) with the whole family!
Here’s the recipe. I left the instructions in Jamie’s language from the cookbook with conversions/translations in parentheses.
Roasted Apple & Squash Soup
from Jamie Oliver (Jamie’s Great Britain)
1 butternut squash
3 cox or braeburn apples
4 garlic cloves
2 red chilies
A pinch of coriander seeds
A pinch of rosemary
3 heaping tablespoons pumpkin seeds
a pinch of sweet cayenne pepper
800 ml (27 ounces or a little less than a quart) vegetable or chicken stock
150 ml (5 ounces or about 1/2 a cup) single cream (half and half)
Preheat the oven to 200° C (400 ° F )
Slice the squash lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Cut in to 25cm chunks and put them into your largest roasted tray.
Peel the apples, then quarter them and remove the core. Peel and roughly chop the onion and add the apples and onion to the roasting tray. Half the chilies and remove the seeds and add to the tray with the unpeeled and bashed garlic cloves.
Drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the whole tray, as well as salt and pepper. Add coriander and rosemary.
Toss everything together so it’s all evenly coated with oil and seasoning. Cook for around 45 minutes, until everything is cooked through and intensely golden.
Toss the pumpkin seeds with salt, pepper, olive oil and cayenne. Spread on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes until nicely toasted. Set aside
Put some of the roasted vegetables in a liquidizer (blender), making sure you squeeze the garlic out of it’s skin. Add a swig of stock, then place a tea towel over the lid and gently blitz (blend) until smooth and lovely. Put this into a large pan and repeat with the rest. Pour in most of the cream and bring to a simmer over a medium ot low heat.
Have a taste. Season to perfection.
To serve, divide between warm soup bowls and add a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of toasted seeds. Serve with warm crusty bread.
Hope your week has been lovely! Thanks for all the kind birthday wishes!