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Sourcing & Shopping

Winter Squashes

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I couldn’t resist.

The farm shop had a display of squashes just picked from their fields. I like squash – but many I have not eaten, including a couple here.The whole selection was very cheap and will last forever.

Watch this space for taste comparisons.

Squashes are:

Turban: (top middle)

Sunspot: (top right) – a type of Japanese onion squash

Carnival: (top left)

Butternut: (middle)

Crown Prince: (front left)

Gem:(front right)

Halibut spicy butternut squash ‘soup’

butternut squash and halibut 2-0283

Butternut squash is a ubiquitous squash and for a good reason – it is very versatile and easy to cook. It has all the taste characteristics of winter squash, sweet and buttery. You can use it in soups, purees, or roasted. Here I have used mine in a thick sauce-come-soup.


‘Sunspot’ onion squash and sausage casserole

squash and sausage square-0057

My sunspot was brilliant in this casserole. I had learned that this squash has the flavour of chestnuts (see my story at the recipe link below). I therefore thought that sausages (which happened to be in the fridge) would be a good flavour combination. Another really successful meal from my winter squash collection.

Crown Prince squash and ricotta ravioli


This was also a success. I don’t know why Italian choose to put pumpkin in ravioli. There is so much effort involved in real ravioli one might expect something more exclusive. But this works and is a great vegetarian starter or main.

Spicy carnival and gem squash soup

Squash soupA-0227-2

Okay, okay – I admit it. I left my squashes too long. Sorry James. But only the Turban did not last. Even then it only felt a month or so too old. The trouble is they look just as good on the table as squashes as they do as cooked meals. This soup is a made from leftovers from my orzo and squash pilaf and harissa chicken wings. I attempted to use all my remaining squash in the pilaf but only a new butternut was firm enough – so the rest went in a bowl and later into the soup. I made my usual stock but on a smaller scale using the chicken wing bits. I strained the stock into a pan and added the squash, ground coriander and cumin, leftover toasted almonds and fresh coriander roots and blitzed with a stick blender. I boiled some orzo separately. The leftover chicken was chopped and added with the orzo. I seasoned with salt and lemon. I garnished with Greek yoghurt mixed with whole milk, cream and lemon and some chopped fresh coriander.

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