I bought a lovely butternut squash at the market the other week and decided to make a hearty lunch with it – a warming butternut and chestnut soup, and a lentil and rice salad.
Butternut Squash and Chestnut Soup
In a large saucepan, sweat the onion in oil until translucent. Add the bay leaf and the butternut and allow to cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next, pour in the stock. Lower heat and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Add more liquid during this time if needed. Take out the bay leaf.
Remove the pan from the heat, pour in the milk, and then blend until smooth. Add more stock or water to obtain the desired texture. Taste and season. Serve with crumbled chestnuts on top.
Roasted Butternut Salad with Red Rice and Lentils
Preheat the oven to 180C/375F.
Place the butternut squash in a large baking dish, season with oil, rosemary and salt and bake for about 30 minutes, until cooked through. Remove and let cool, then cut into cubes and set aside.
In the meantime, cook the rice and lentils separately until tender. Drain and set aside to cool a little, then transfer them to a mixing bowl and season with oil, a pinch of sea salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.
Assemble the salad by mixing the mesclun leaves with the squash cubes, rice and lentils. Season to taste and serve warm.