After a long day at work, head in from the cold to a warming bowl of autumn with these delightful autumn soup recipes
Pea and Herb Soup with Basil Oil
6 spring onions, chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
375g frozen peas
700ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
35g rocket leaves
2 tbsp crème fraîche
salt and pepper
bread to serve
30g bunch of fresh basil
200 ml olive oil
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the spring onions and celery, cover and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the peas and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Cover and leave to cool for 20 minutes.
2. To make the basil oil, remove the stems from the basil and discard. Place the leaves in a food processor with half the oil and blend to a purée. Add the remaining oil and blend again. Transfer to a small bowl.
3. Add the dill, chives and rocket to the soup. Blend with a hand-held blender until smooth. Stir in the crème fraîche. If you are serving the soup warm, heat through gently without boiling, then season to taste.
4. Ladle into four warmed bowls and drizzle with the basil oil. Serve immediately. Can be served cold too – chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before seasoning and serving.
Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli & Crème Fraîche
1 butternut squash, about 1kg, peeled and deseeded
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 onions, diced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 mild red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
850ml hot vegetable stock
4 tbsp crème fraîche, plus more to serve
1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the squash into large cubes, about 4cm/1½in across. Place into a large roasting tin with half the olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes, turning once during cooking, until they are golden and soft.
2. While the squash cooks, melt the butter with the remaining oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and ¾ of the chilli. Cover and cook on a very low heat for 15-20 mins until the onions are soft.
3. Add the squash to the pan, add the stock and the crème fraîche, then blitz with a stick blender until smooth. For an extra silky soup, put the soup into a liquidiser and blitz it in batches.
4. Return everything to the pan, gently reheat, then season to taste. Serve the soup in bowls with swirls of crème fraîche and a scattering of the remaining chopped chilli. Serve with warm crusty bread.