This easy-to-make squash soup doesn’t even require any bowls – just eat it straight out of the shell, saving on the washing up and adding to the entertainment.
It’s a great child-pleaser for Halloween and has endless variations with different garnishes – some fried shiitake or chestnut mushrooms would up the earthy autumnal feel.
Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 45 mins | Total time: 1hr | Serves 4
- 4 small squash (An onion squash is ideal)
- 300g Ogleshield cheese (or a good melting cheese such as Gruyère or Cheddar), grated
- 100g Parmesan (or vegetarian equivalent), grated
- Around 40g butter
- Few gratings of nutmeg
- 4 small thyme sprigs
- 800ml double cream
- Salt and black pepper
- Heat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Slice the tops off the squash and scoop out the seeds and pulp, then place the squash bowls, cut-side up on a baking tray (reserve the lids).
- Divide the cheeses and butter between the squash and add a grating of nutmeg and a small sprig of thyme to each, then pour in the cream to two thirds of the way up each squash bowl.
- Season with generous amounts of black pepper and a cautious amount of salt – bear in mind the saltiness of the cheeses.
- Put the lids on, place on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of your squash, until tender.
- Eat by scraping the soft flesh into the hot cream.
Serve this in a large single squash, such as a crown prince. Treat it like a large fondue pot, dipping in toast soldiers or leftover roast potatoes.
You will need to up the cooking time – this will take at least 1 hour, and it’s worth reducing the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas 4 and/or wrapping the squash loosely with foil so the outside doesn’t brown too much before it cooks through.
The flesh should give to the tip of a knife.