Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Peel 1kg of butternut squash, cut into large chunks (about the size of a roast potato), then place in a single layer in a deep roasting tin. Peel and halve 6 large shallots and tuck them among the squash. Mix 5 tbsp of olive oil with 1 tsp each of mild paprika and hot smoked paprika, then spoon over the squash and onions and bake for about 40 minutes or until the squash is almost tender and lightly browned in patches.
Warm 1 litre of vegetable stock in a pan, remove the vegetables from the oven and transfer to a deep saucepan. Place the empty roasting tin over a moderate heat and add a ladleful of stock. Dissolve any of the tasty goo that has formed in the tin, then pour over the vegetables add the remaining stock and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the butternut squash and shallots are thoroughly soft and tender.
Thinly slice 200g of chestnut mushrooms and fry them in a shallow pan in a little olive oil until soft and lightly browned. Peel a 20g piece of ginger and shred it into 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 and add to the squash. Spoon over a little soured cream and serve. Enough for 3
Use sweet potato in place of the squash if you prefer.
Introduce a few sprigs of thyme to the roasting butternut. Add finely sliced garlic to the mushrooms and fry until golden.
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