Split butternut squash in half —lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and squash guts. Lay cut side down in baking dish.
Place whole head of garlic or break into cloves —leaving the skin on. Put that in the baking dish.
Seed the pepper and cut in half or into quarters. Pop that in the same pan.
Cut onion into quarters and it goes in the pan too.
Add water (optional) to the pan or line with baking paper. I find adding the water speeds up the baking time and helps steam the squash. Some people don't like adding water and prefer baking paper or covering the bottom of the baking dish with olive oil.
Bake at 225°C for about 35-40 minutes. Poke the squash with a fork, if it's done, the fork will glide into the flesh easily.
Skin the squash and garlic. Add all ingredients to a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Add enough broth according to how thin/thick you want the soup —you can add a bit at a time and check consistency after the next step and add more if needed.
Let your soup come to a low boil, then put heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
Get your immersion blender* out and whir up your soup. I don't make a complete puree, I usually leave a few chunky bits.
*You can use a countertop blender, but be very careful. Using this method you should allow the soup to cool down considerably before blending as the heat under the lid produces steam which could pop the lid off, make a mess and possibly scald you. Not pretty or fun. Then you have to heat the soup up again if you make it past this stage successfully.
Taste. Alter flavour and/or alter consistency.
Serve with a red pepper coulis and Greek yoghurt swirl, homemade chunky croutons, zest of lime and swirl of Greek yoghurt, pumpkin seeds or a combination of any or all of these suggestions or none at all.
4-6 knobs ginger (you want to yield about 2 cups of shredded/grated ginger per litre of vodka)
2 vanilla bean (two beans per litre)
2/3 white sugar
Grate or finely shred the peeled ginger.
Then, add the ginger to a rubber-sealed bottle or mason jar.
Pour in vodka. Here, I have used two bottles because I didn't have any bottles big enough to fit everything in. *In hindsight, it is easier and more efficient to use mason jars —bottles don't allow easy removal of the ginger. 😉
Split the vanilla beans and scrape out the deliciousness. Add to bottle.
Give it all a good shake and store the mixture in a cool, dark place for two to three weeks.
After the infusion period, strain the mixture through a coffee filter, cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer. Then, add the liquid back into the bottle.
Make the simple syrup by adding the water and sugar to a saucepan over low heat. Whisk it until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Pour the simple syrup into the bottle. Shake, shake, shake and pop it back into the same cool, dark place for another two to three weeks.
Drink as is for a light sipping drink or search the internets for recipes using ginger liqueur. Enjoy!