Squash, sweet potato, and garlic soup

SERVES 6–8 D P C
1 acorn or butternut squash
1 sweet potato, about 12 oz/350 g
4 shallots
2 tbsp olive oil
5–6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3½ cups chicken stock
heaping ⅓ cup low-fat sour cream
pepper
snipped fresh chives, to garnish

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Cut the squash, sweet potato, and shallots in half lengthwise, through to the stem end. Scoop the seeds out of the squash. Brush the cut sides with the oil.
2. Place the vegetables, cut-side down, in a shallow roasting pan and add the garlic cloves. Roast in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, until tender and light brown. Cool.
3. When cool, scoop the flesh from the sweet potato and squash halves and place in a saucepan with the shallots. Peel the garlic and add the soft insides to the other vegetables.
4. Add the stock. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender.
5. Let the soup cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender and process until smooth, working in batches, if necessary. (If using a food processor, strain off the cooking liquid and set aside. Process the soup solids with enough cooking liquid to moisten them, then combine with the remaining liquid.)
6. Return the soup to the rinsed-out saucepan. Season with pepper to taste, then simmer for 5–10 minutes, until completely heated through. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and swirl over the sour cream. Garnish with extra pepper and snipped chives and serve.

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