Roasted pump­kin soup with wal­nut bread

Lancashire Life - - Food & Drink -

The pump­kin is my favourite au­tumn in­gre­di­ent. Roast­ing the flesh brings out a sweet earth­i­ness, gen­tle on the palate but ca­pa­ble of han­dling ex­tra spices. If you can’t get your hands-on culi­nary pump­kins, or fancy mak­ing this soup out of sea­son, but­ter­nut squash is avail­able most of the year and works equally well.

Serves 6 In­gre­di­ents: Roasted pump­kin soup:

1.5kg pump­kin, de­seeded and chopped into cubes

400g mini sweet pep­pers 200g potato, chopped

1 litre vegetable stock

70ml sin­gle cream

1tsp dried chilli flakes

Driz­zle of olive oil

Salt and pep­per, to sea­son

Wal­nut bread:

300ml milk

125g whole­meal bread flour 125g strong white bread flour 30g un­salted but­ter 7g in­stant yeast

1tsp brown sugar

2tbsp warm water

1tsp salt

100g chopped wal­nuts

Method:

Start by mak­ing the wal­nut bread. Pour the milk into a pan and bring to scald­ing point over a medium heat. Re­move the pan from the hob and stir in the sugar and but­ter. Leave to cool.

Stir to­gether the yeast and warm water to cre­ate a paste. In a larger bowl, sift to­gether the flour and salt then add the egg, the yeast mix­ture, and about three quar­ters of the milk. Use a knife to bring the dough to­gether - add more milk if it seems dry.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured sur­face and knead for 5 min­utes. Pop it back

in the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm draught free place for about an hour.

Chop the wal­nuts into small pieces and gen­tly knead them into the dough for two min­utes. Place the dough in a 450g500g loaf tin, cover as be­fore, and leave to rise for a fur­ther 25 min­utes. Mean­while, pre­heat the oven to 200C/180c(fan)/ gas mark 6.

Bake the bread in the oven for 30-40 min­utes. Leave on a rack to cool while you get your soup on the go.

Dice the pump­kin, potato and pep­pers, dis­card­ing the pump­kin stalk but re­tain­ing the seeds. Scat­ter the veg on a bak­ing tray be­fore driz­zling with olive oil and sprin­kling with dried chilli flakes. Roast in the oven for 90 min­utes at 200C/180c(fan)/gas mark 6.

Mean­while, heat a lit­tle olive oil in a pan and add the pump­kin seeds. Fry for two min­utes, stir­ring, un­til the seeds are puffed up and toasted.

When they’re ready, blitz the veg in a blender along with the stock and cream. Pour the soup into a pan over a low heat and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Serve with a sprin­kling of toasted pump­kin seeds and a hunk of wal­nut bread.

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