Butternut squash slow cooked soup with crusty thyme and pumpkin seed rolls (recipe)

Butternut squash slow cooked soup with crusty thyme and pumpkin seed rolls

Eat! Eat! – Miss J, 1

We’re storming through our meal plan experiment this week. One of the great things about planning ahead is that it gives you a chance to sit back and think about how to keep things interesting. And then because you buy everything you need at once, there’s no staring blankly into the cupboards or last minute dashes to the supermarket.

Today’s family meal makes use of our well-loved slow cooker and uses bought bread mix with some added extras to make seeded, flavourful crusty rolls. The kids can get involved with the bread mixing and kneading, making this a perfect after school activity while the slow cooker bubbles away.

Everyone loved the finish result. In fact Miss J, 1, kept coming back for more and ate nearly as much as I did!

Here’s what to do to make enough for four bowls of soup and eight bread rolls…

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 1 large butternut squash (mine weighed 1.5kg before peeling and de-seeding)
  • 2 carrots (about 200g before peeling)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 litre of half strength stock

For the bread rolls:

  • 500g packet of white bread mix
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 30g pumpkin seeds (15g inside the dough, 15g on top)

Instructions

  1. Peel/de-seed and chop the butternut squash, carrot, onion and celery into inch pieces
  2. Put in the slow cooker with the stock and nutmeg
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours
  4. About an hour before you serve up, start work on the bread – put the bread mix in a bowl and add the dried thyme and warm water to the amount stated on the packet instructions, mix well, then turn out onto a floured surface to sit for 5 minutes
  5. Knead the dough well for 5 minute until springy, then chop half of your pumpkins seeds into smallish pieces and kneed them into the dough for a minute or so
  6. Work the dough into an oblong, then use a sharp knife to cute into 8 equal pieces
  7. Work into roll shapes, then lay on an oiled tray, cover with a damp tea towel again and leave to rise for 40 minutes somewhere warm – they should double in size
  8. Turn on the oven to 230C (210C fan assisted), sprinkle the top of each roll with water and add a sprinkling of sunflower seeds to the top of each one
  9. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes until gently browned and crusty
  10. Remove from the oven and leave on a rack to cool
  11. When all your soup veg are soft, blitz with a hand blender and season to taste
  12. Serve with your lovely warm rolls – they’re perfect with salted butter
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