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Make Samarkand's squash and liquorice soup

It's autumn, which means squash is bang in season. Here, Uzbek restaurant Samarkand uses it to make a vibrant soup with one of the region's traditional flavours, liquorice

Serves 4

Preparation time 60 mins

Cooking time 30 mins


For the liquorice stock

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 stick of green celery
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 liquorice root (you can find this in health-food stores)
  • 1l water

For the soup

  • 1 medium butternut squash (around 700g)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 tbp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Basil, to garnish


  1. To make the liquorice stock, add all the ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for one hour.
  2. To make the soup, peel and take out all the seeds from the squash and cut it into chunks, reserving some for the garnish. Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for around 15-20mins or until the flesh is cooked through.
  3. Gently fry the diced onion sand carrots with garlic, cumin butter and olive oil until softened but not coloured.
  4. Add the flesh of the butternut squash to the pan with the sieved stock and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Once simmered, blitz the mixture to a puree.
  6. Serve topped with diced roast squash, pumpkin seeds and basil leaves.