Roasted Squash and Yorkshire Garlic Soup

Ingredients

600g squash - Butternut or Crown Prince

1 large red pepper, deseeded

1 large bulb of Yorkshire Garlic or use 4 sticks of Yorkshire Green Garlic (looks like a small leek) � alternatively use garlic from your local farm shop

Rapeseed oil (or use olive oil)

100g (about two rashers) dry cured back bacon

1 large onion, finely chopped

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1 small stick celery, finely chopped

Thyme, large sprig or half teaspoon of dried

600mls vegetable or chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Creme fraiche or soured cream (optional)

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4. Clean, deseed and slice the squash into large chunks. Halve and deseed the red pepper. Place in a roasting tray and dot the peeled cloves of Yorkshire Garlic on the squash and pepper. Drizzle with rapeseed oil, and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the squash is softened and the garlic has caramelised, and the skin on the peppers has blistered.

Remove the rind from the bacon rashers and cut up the rashers into small pieces. Finely chop the onion and the celery and fry with the bacon in a little rapeseed oil until softened (use the cut off rind if you wish for a bit of added flavour but remove after the onions are fried). Add the spring of fresh thyme.

Remove the skin from the roasted squash and add to the frying onions along with the red pepper and garlic. Add 600 mls of vegetable or chicken stock. Then add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Simmer for about15 minutes.

Blend in batches using a food processor or a stick blender and serve with a swirl of creme fraiche or soured cream, chopped chives or parsley and some crusty bread - delicious!

You can substitute the cloves of garlic with sticks of green garlic. No need to roast them with the squash. Just slice them like a leek and fry along with the onions and celery. This should produce a tasty soup of a vibrant colour. You may need a little more stock, depending on the consistency - whether you like it thicker or a little thinner.

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