• Half a butternut squash
  • 2 onions
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 200g chorizo sausage
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 400g tin cannellini beans
  • Black pepper

Being busy, or rather people who bang on about being busy, is one of my all time pet hates, up there with people who take their eye bagged ridden children food shopping at 10pm and those who moan about not having any money and then go on expensive holidays.

I think the Busy People think that by wearing this verbal busy badge of honour they sound important, like a latter day version of a business lady from Working Girl who walks to work in her trainers to save time. Well, it doesn’t make me think you’re busy. It makes me think you should be quiet and get on with your busy list of things to do.

Maybe I am just jealous. I used to be a Very Busy Person when I had a proper office job with a time you had to arrive at and a pension plan and private health. Now I have a scrap of paper with a list of things that need doing on it. Some have been on the list for over 5 years. Tirelessly re-written when a new scrap of paper beckons.

At this very moment, a quick glance tells me I need to do some filing (yawn), contact a solicitor about writing a new will (or if I do pop off then my double bed and a silver necklace are going to arrive on an ex boyfriends doorstep in Manchester… not sure his wife would be keen on that or my bedless grief stricken husband come to think of it), sort out passports for both sons (form filling, arghhh no, surely I need to do something more pressing like check Facebook or read the Daily Mail comments on a celebrity story) and eBay a DVF dress I bought 3 years ago and have never worn as it makes me look, quite frankly, hideous. Designer clothes do not magic away hips. Wrap dresses are for my skinny snake hipped sisters.

So maybe I’m not busy with the important things that Busy People are busy with, but I am busy playing Lego, building train tracks, reading stories, helping little boys peel carrots and mix Yorkshire pudding batter and of course I am busy pushing swings. That’s a very busy job indeed, for very Busy People.

This is a recipe for Busy People. I managed to whizz this up whilst playing train tracks intermittently.

One year ago: Bake me not chocolate cake  and Joyful banana, butterscotch and fig traybake

Two years ago: Light and sweet carrot cake and Rhubarb and ginger chutney

Butternut squash, chorizo and harissa soup

Enough for 2 very large dinner type portions or 4 smaller ones

Ingredients:

  • Half a butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks, no seeds please
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 tbsp groundnut or veggie oil
  • 200g chorizo sausage, cut into slices and skin removed
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Black pepper

Pop the oven on to the highest setting and roast the butternut squash pieces and the onions in a roasting tin coated in 2 tbsp of the oil until browned and a knife slips through the squash easily, took about 20 minutes in my oven. Then pop into a large saucepan. In the meantime fry the skinless slices of chorizo until browned. (Can be easier to remove the skin once cooked, up to you… or don’t remove the skin at all! Adds a slightly grainy texture to the final soup though.)

Throw the sausage into the large saucepan with the veggies and add the stock cube and harissa, then pour boiling water over the top until it comes to about an inch above the veggies. Pop onto a low heat to simmer and after 15 minutes blitz with a handheld blender or pop in a regular blender if you prefer. Check for heat (our harissa is homemade by Mr B and is fiery), add a little more harissa if you like and then some black pepper too. Probably won’t need salt as the stock cube provides a fair amount of that. Then add the beans and heat through on the stove for 5 more minutes. Serve with crusty bread and butter.

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