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Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and squash and cook for 2 minutes.
Pour in the vegetable stock and boil gently for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Transfer the soup to a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Pour it back into the saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Toast the bread and cut it into fingers.
Ladle the soup into bowls and add a dollop of crème fraiche to each one. Top with a sourdough crouton or two and sprinkle over the peppercorns and chives.