Squash, Sweet Potato & Apple Soup

This makes around 7 or 8 portions, depending on the size of the veg you use.

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (or crushed if you can’t be bothered)
2 litres chicken or vegetable stock (or a combination of both)
3 small or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium-sized Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
A few small leaves of sage, chopped
¼ tsp 5 spice powder
Generous pinch or two chilli flakes
Generous squeeze or two of lemon

In an oven tray coat the butternut squash pieces lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the squash until it’s fairly soft but not too charred at the edges – around 30 minutes at 180°C should be about right.

In a large frying pan soften the onion with a small amount of oil, adding water to keep it from burning (and to keep the fat down). Add the garlic and soften briefly.

Pour in 1½ litres of the stock, add the sweet potatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the apples after five minutes or so. Once the sweet potatoes start to become tender, stir in the roasted squash.
When all the vegetables are nice and soft add the sage, 5 spice, chilli flakes, a squeeze of lemon and some black pepper and simmer for another few minutes.

Allow to cool a little and liquidise in batches. Adjust the seasoning, add more of the stock if too thick and a touch more lemon if it seems to need it.

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