ROAST BUTTERNUT SOUP WITH MUSHROOMS AND GINGER
6 medium shallots
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock (try to use the best you can)
For the mushrooms:
200g white or brown mushrooms
3 tbsp olive oil
1 x 10g piece ginger
150g soured cream
Set the oven at 200C. Peel the butternut, halve it lengthways and discard the seeds and fibres. Cut into large chunks, then place in a single layer in a roasting tin. Peel the shallots, halve them and then tuck them among the butternut.
Mix the olive oil and the paprikas then spoon over the butternut, slide the dish into the oven and bake for about an hour or until the pumpkin is a bit browned but quite soft and tender.
Warm the vegetable or chicken stock in a large saucepan. Add the cooked pumpkin and shallots to the stock, place over a moderate heat (use a few spoonfuls of the stock to deglaze the roasting tin if there are any interesting bits of roasted pumpkin and shallot left), then season with salt and a little pepper and bring to the boil. Partially cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes until the squash is falling to pieces. Crush a few pieces of the squash into the liquid with a fork to thicken it slightly.
Slice the mushrooms thinly, then fry them in the olive oil in a shallow pan until golden. Peel the ginger and shred it into very fine matchsticks then add it to the mushrooms and continue cooking for a minute or two. When all is golden and sizzling, remove from the heat.
Ladle the soup into deep soup bowls then spoon over the soured cream and the mushroom and ginger.