A souper recipe from Ilaria!
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt & pepper to taste
2 red peppers (capsicums), halved, cored, seeds out and chopped
1 medium butternut squash (about 1 kg/2¼ pounds), peeled, seeds out and chopped into little chunks
1 litre (US about 2 pints/UK about 1¾ pints) water or light stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
75g (2-3 ounces) spicy soft chorizo sausage, chopped up into little bits
200g (about 7 ounces) feta
Smoked paprika for dusting
For as long as I remember I haven’t followed any particular rules about eating – whether it’s a scorching hot summer or blustery winter’s afternoon, a bowl of hot pasta always seems like a good idea. Likewise, even on the coldest nights I’ve been known to want to indulge in nothing more than a bowl of chilled gazpacho. Despite the importance of eating local produce and seasonally, I’ve never played by any other rules: it’s always a good time to follow your heart and gut! In saying that, I’ve recently been craving all the smokey food, whether it be smoked yoghurt, paprika, or chorizo. This brings me to my butternut pumpkin soup recipe. While the soup itself is fairly simple, it serves as a sweet base for the other little additions to shine. I’ve made a deliciously crunchy chorizo crumb topping and the paprika dusted feta toasts compliment it perfectly. There’s an underlying sweetness and smokiness that is addictive to say the least. Wait until you try it and you’ll see what it’s about!
1 To make the soup, heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the onions. Cover pan with a lid and cook slowly for 12-15 minutes, until tender and lightly browned; stir from time to time. Add garlic and brown for 2 minutes, season with salt and pepper and add red peppers. Cover pan with a lid and cook gently for 5 minutes, until everything has softened; make sure the vegetables don’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
2 Add pumpkin and water or stock. Bring to the boil, partially cover pan with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Cool.
3 Put the vegetables in the bowl of a food processor with some of the soup liquid and process to form a thick purée. Adjust with more soup liquid – you don’t want a thin soup, but don’t leave it as thick as a pumpkin mash even if it does taste good! Adjust salt seasoning to your liking.
4 For the chorizo crumb, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add chorizo and fry, stirring, for a few minutes until golden (be careful not to let it darken). Scoop out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
5 Cut feta into thin slices and pat dry with paper towels. Slice bread and grill on one side. Top ungrilled side with feta and grill until melting and golden. Dust with smoked paprika.
6 Quickly reheat soup and dish into bowls. Sprinkle with chorizo crumb and serve with feta toasts.