Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Catch up and Butternut Squash and Butterbean Soup


Sorry Guys!! i should rename this blog the weekly soup kitchen! i will start posting more regularly again soon i promise! but for now, let me share with you THE.BEST.SOUP.IN.THE.WORLD.EVER.FACT! and a catch up from my bank holiday wknd.

It was Buddy’s stag do this wknd, so i drove him to the train station in Glasgow and dropped him and a bunch of his friends off, on the way home, there was an accident and the road was closed like all day, so after HOURS of hanging around i eventually decided to take another route, round the coast and over a ferry, i left the car on the other side, as it was too expensive to bring it over and i knew i had to return to Glasgow on Sunday to pick the boys up anyway so figured i’d take that route again.  it was a stressful day I left Glasgow at 2.30pm and arrived home at 9pm, it should have taken 2 hours!

I then spent the wknd at my parents house, being pampered and looked after, there ain’t nothing like staying at my parents every now and then for a bit of TLC!

I managed my first run on Saturday since before the Hen do (due to that toe!) it was awesome, so good to get back out there!

Sunday morning my dad and I took my dog and his dogs an early morning hike, it was a new route that i’d never been on before, it takes you through the grounds of a castle hotel and out and round a small island, it takes around 2 hours, its pretty spectacular! only a 2 minute drive from my house, Buddy and I will be doing this route soon fo sho’!

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Then i set off on the drive back to Glasgow to pick up Buddy and the boys.

I took the ferry.


The drive was a pretty drive, the weather was lovely


But this did not ease my mood, i got lost, TWICE! and it took me almost 4 hours, it should have taken just over 2! this wknd was not a successful wknd in terms of travel!!

Not a happy Neen!


Things were to get worse though!

When we got home we found that the kitchen floor had sunk dramatically over the wknd, we had to investigate, what we found was NOT GOOD!

Turns out the boiler has been leaking since we put it in about 9 months ago, the floor was completely rotten under the laminate flooring, there was all sorts of fungus in at the back of the boxed in boiler, it was hideous! my kitchen was totally destroyed!

So on our Bank Holiday Monday (what was supposed to be our catch up day off together), we tore the kitchen out.

It was NOT pretty! Poor Buddy had to rip the flooring back to the bare concrete floor, it took us hours and hours! and my whole house was upside down!


We kicked off at 9am and didn’t get finished until about 10pm last night, we managed to salvage the actual kitchen units, although kitchens are not made to be pulled out and put back in, so it doesn’t quite fit right anymore! it will do till after the wedding though!  we did have to replace the insulation and all the flooring, and we have to buy new floor covering.  It looks amazing now though compared to what it did yesterday morning, there were real tears and everything!

We’ll buy the floor covering this week and get it laid at the wknd! what a traumatic day yesterday was!


BUT in amongst the carnage buddy had to put my cooker outside, so i set a couple of hours aside and left him to some of the hard manual labour and cleaned that baby to within an inch of its life, its so much easier to scrub it down when its outside!


We worked hard yesterday and got the kitchen back to a workable order in time for bed, there is still much work to be done but that will have to wait for the wknd now!

Today i made good use of our workable kitchen and made the most amazing soup ever!

I’m not very good at soups, i dont seem to have much luck, but this is beyond a doubt the best i’ve ever tasted, anywhere!

Its a bit fiddly and certainly not a throw together soup, but well worth the effort. I bought tub of microwavable Baxters Butternut Squash, Giant Butterbean and Mascarpone soup and had it for lunch yesterday mid kitchen ripping out, it was awesome so i checked out the ingredients and figured i’d try it at home but healthier! and WOW!

Butternut Squash and Butterbean Soup

1 Butternut Squash

1 Tin of Butterbeans

1 Onion

1 clove Garlic

Ground dried garlic

Chilli flakes

1/2 Red Pepper

2 Carrots

1 Potato (or 3 baby potatoes)

1 Parsnip

Fresh Sage (dried will do)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

A knob of butter

1t Vegetable Bullion (1 veg stock cube will do)

Prep your butternut squash, cut in half, deseed, score, rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, ground dried garlic and chilli flakes, bake at 190degrees for approx 1 hour.


Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in a little oil and butter


Once softened, add in the parsnip, 1 carrot, 1/2 of your 1/2 pepper, and potato, cook down for approx 10 minutes on a gentle heat, stirring often.


Add 1 pint of water, and the vegetable bullion, bring to the boil then allow to simmer for approx 15 minutes until the veg is soft.


While thats cooking and the Butternut Squash is baking, prep the rest of the veg, chop the other carrot, rinse the tin of butter beans and finely chop the other 1/2 of the 1/2 pepper and set aside.


Once the Veg is soft in the soup, blend with a hand blender until smooth.

Once the Butternut Squash is roasted take it out the oven and scoop out the flesh, add to the soup and blend, i worried that a whole butternut squash was too much, but it was just fine, so perceiver and go ahead and use the whole thing. 

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Now blend till the soup is smooth and silky.

You should now boil the remaining veg in a separate pan, the carrots and peppers for approx 10 minutes, adding in the butterbeans for the final 3 minutes.


While the final veg is boiling heat up a non stick pan with a little oil and drop your sage leaves in till they go a bit transparent (omit this step if using dried sage), (i used twice the pictured amount)


Add the Sage to the soup, along with salt and pepper to taste, and blend a final time.


Now add in the final cooked veg, the butterbeans, the carrots and the peppers, and stir.

Et voila!  the best soup ever! it sounds more complicated than it is i promise! now run out and make it my dear bloggy friends!


Tonight i made a special dinner for buddy (he wasn’t so keen – oopsy! but i loved it and i know you will too!) Baked Acorn Squash stuffed with cauliflower/broccoli cheese, recipe coming soon!

Right then peeps i’m off to chill with buddy.

Much Love <3 <3 <3 xoxo.


  1. oooohhhh that soup looks sooooo yum! I love B squash. Im so sorry about your kitchen. I'm glad it's sorted now xx

  2. Aww that sounds like a nightmare! Glad you're pretty much sorted now though.

  3. So sorry to hear about your kitchen, what a total nightmare. Soup looks lovely though!

  4. What awesome scenery, oh hello random castle in the distance! Boo on the kitchen but at least it's almost over with!

  5. I hate getting lost, sorry about your weekend travel troubles, sounds horrid!

    Yummy soup though :)