Monday, 13 October 2014

Scottish Yellow Tomatoes and Butternut Squash Homemade Soup

Slightly sweet and spicy Scottish yellow tomato and butternut squash soup

This is the second batch of soup I made from my bumper delivery of fresh greenhouse tomatoes just over a week ago. This time I used yellow rather than red tomatoes and decided also to incorporate a butternut squash for an extra bit of texture and flavour. It was absolutely delicious and again, most of it is safely tucked away in my freezer for taking with me on Winter sea fishing trips in my flask.

Scottish greenhouse grown red and yellow tomatoes


1 large carrot, washed, topped and roughly chopped
1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
4 ounces mixed sliced bell peppers
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
4 pints cold water
4 pounds yellow tomatoes, washed and halved
1 teaspoon dried basil
Olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Principal ingredients for basic vegetable stock


Add the carrot, onion and bell peppers to a large soup or stock pot along with the bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the cold water, put on a high heat until the water just approaches the boil then reduce the heat to achieve a very gentle simmer.

Starting to prepare vegetable stock

Cover the simmering stock and leave for one hour.

Yellow tomatoes ready for roasting

When the stock is simmering, start your oven preheating to 150F/300C/Gas Mark 2 while you wash and half the tomatoes. Lay them on a couple of roasting trays, cut sides up. Season with the dried basil, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for two hours.

Vegetable stock is strained through a sieve

When the stock has simmered for an hour, turn off the heat and leave it for about an hour to cool (your tomatoes will only be half done, anyway). After this time, carefully strain it through a fine sieve suspended over a large bowl. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the (washed or at least wiped) pot.

Strained vegetable stock

When you take the tomatoes from the oven, you should see that they have shrivelled up and dried out while not completely, at least to some considerable extent.

Roasted yellow tomatoes

Use a slotted spoon to add the tomatoes to the stock.

Roasted yellow tomatoes are added to vegetable stock

I've used a butternut squash in this recipe but virtually any type of squash would work equally well.

Butternut squash

Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a teaspoon. Peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife.

Seeding and peeling butter nut squash

Chop the butternut squash in to approximately one inch pieces and add to the soup pot.

Peeled and chopped butternut squash

Put the cumin seeds in to a hot dry frying pan and toast for a couple of minutes or just until you can smell them roasting. Normally when I'm using toasted cumin seeds like this in a recipe I would crush them with a pestle and mortar after toasting but as this soup will ultimately be both blended and strained, there is no need on this occasion. Add them straight in to the soup and stir well.

Butternut squash and toasted cumin seeds are added to soup

Heat the soup until it reaches a simmer and continue to simmer gently - uncovered - until the squash is softened. This will take about fifteen to twenty minutes.

Soup is left to cool slightly before blending

It's never a good idea to blend extremely hot liquids, so for safety reasons, let the soup cool at this stage for at least half an hour.

Soup is blended in batches

You will need to blend the soup in batches. Remember never to overfill your food processor or blender.

Soup is strained through a fine sieve

Carefully strain the blended soup batches through a sieve over a bowl. You may need to assist it through the sieve with a wooden spoon but don't force it or you may end up with skin and/or seeds in your finished soup.

Strained soup is returned to the pot and heated for serving

Return the soup to the pot and heat to serve, or alternatively ladle in to appropriate dishes for cooling and freezing.

Cooled excess soup is divided between small plastic dishes for freezing

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