Roasted Butternut and Apple Soup
1 butternut squash (about 1.5kg / 3lb 5oz) peeled and halved and seeds set aside.
2 Braeburn apples (about 200g / 7oz) peeled and cored and cut into wedges.
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 celery stick, diced
1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
½ tsp ground cumin
Pinch ground allspice
1 litre / 1 ¾ pints chicken or vegetable stock
4 tbsp crème fraiche
Squash seed topping
Reserved squash seeds
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp cumin seeds
2 thick slices crusty white bread, crusts cut off
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme leaves
3 tbsp grated gruyere cheese
Preheat the oven to 220C / Fan 200C / Gas 7. Chop the squash into chunks and scatter in a foil lined baking tray with the apple wedges. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, season and roast for 30 minutes, or until golden.
Meanwhile heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan and sauté the onions and celery for about 10 minutes until softened. Add the thyme and spices and cook for 1 more minutes. Tip the roasted squash and apple in, then add the stock and 500ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, then leave to cool a little before blitzing with a stick blender. Add the crème fraiche and season to taste.
For the toppings toss the squash seeds with the oil, cumin seeds, paprika and a pinch of salt, then scatter on a foil lined tray and roast for 5 minutes then set aside. For the croutons cut of tear the bread into pieces, then toss with the oil, thyme, season and scatter on a foil lined tray and bake for 10 minutes, then scatter with cheese and bake for another 2 minutes. Serve the soup scattered with the seeds and croutons.
To get ahead: The soup, seeds and croutons can all be made up to 2 days ahead.
To freeze: The soup can be frozen up to 1 month ahead.