I have been living in Dublin for a good few years now and I have to say I am starting to get used to the Irish weather. At first I hated it and couldn`t handle the big wind and storms, the rain was so unusual here like no umbrella would work against it. I spent a fortune buying umbrellas then they all ended up in the bin so I gave up and forced myself to brave the rain without protection. In Hungary we have (or used to have before the climate change) 4 seasons. I think Ireland has only one: autumn all the year round. One day could be like a nice Indian summer autumn or more than likely it could be closer to a mucky, filthy wintery one. I don`t miss the big snow and freezing winters from home (however we had 2 very cold Big Freezes here) or those really hot summer days when the air is so heavy and even the nights are unbearably stuffy, when you are not able to sleep and are just struggling against the heat all day (I can live, however, without the love and attention of our overly amorous mosquitoes). Having said that, I do miss the nice warm springs and pleasant summer days when you can go out and meet your friends, sit outside nice cafes and pubs or go to any of those famous open-air clubs. I miss the barbecues, sitting in our patio sipping chilled rosé wine and listening to the chirping of the crickets. I am a bit bored of this cool May (June?) here when it is hardly warmer than 15 degrees max. Last week I was so cold in the house and needed something to warm me up, so I made a nice butternut squash soup (and gin and tonic). I know that is very wintry but I had all the reasons to make it.:)
Butternut squash soup with chilli and crème fraîche
I bought a nice big butternut squash (about 1-1,5 kg) peeled it and removed any seeds from the middle. I cut it into bigger chunks and sprinkled some olive oil on them. I roasted them in the oven for about 30 minutes (at 200 Celsius-gas 6.) Meanwhile I melted a big tablespoon of butter in a pan and slowly sautéed 2 big onions (diced), 1 peeled garlic clove (thinly sliced), and a teaspoon of red crushed chilli flakes. It took me about 20 minutes and when the onions were nice golden and soft I took the pan off the heat. I added the roasted butternut squash to the onions and poured over some vegetable stock (about 1 litre) and I wasn`t shy with the crème fraîche so I added 4 big spoons. At the end I blended my soup until it was very smooth. I served with pumpkin seeds and extra crème fraîche. I liked its nice silky texture and delicate, slightly spicy flavour. It definitely lifted up my mood (as did the gin and tonic!). Enjoy!