Silky Squash and Rosemary Soup

It’s April and it’s still freezing. Come on weather! Pull your socks up, and get a bit more spring-like – in the meantime, here’s another soup to warm the [figurative and vegetarian] cockles.

I not a big fan of butternut squashes, but since one arrived in this week’s veg box, it just had to feature in my soup choice. However, this  combination of squash with rosemary was capable of changing even my opinion on the humble squash. The resulting soup is silky, herby, punchy and (in my opinion) transforms squash into a wonder ingredient! Top with these rather addictive rosemary roasted salted pumpkin seeds and feel the warmth.

Silky Squash and Rosemary Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper

– Saute the onion, carrot and celery in the oil until softened but not browned

– Add the squash and rosemary and stir well.

– Pour in the stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the squash is cooked through.

– Remove the woody rosemary stalks and liquidize.

– Taste and adjust the seasoning.

– Serve scattered with rosemary roasted pumpkin seeds and sliced spring onions.

Rosemary Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes plenty!

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary,
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or less)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4

– Toss together all the ingredients and scatter on a baking tray.

– Roast for 10-15 minutes, until starting to turn golden.

– Cool

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Rosemary Breadsticks

My New Year’s resolution was to start making more bread. You might have guessed that it might be a food related resolution. Shop bought bread is fairly limited for us and there is such a wonderfully varied and practically endless range of breads, most of which can’t be that hard to bake yourself. I thought I’d start simply with these rather moreish breadsticks, inspired by and adapted from my ‘Scandilicious Baking‘ book that I was given for Christmas.

I’m rather pleased with the results and the salty, rosemary vibe is quite reminiscent of a focaccia but without the oiliness. You could serve these alone or with dips.

Rosemary Breadsticks (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan) NB: contains gluten.

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Makes 12 sticks

  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp fast action dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 150ml tepid water
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fleur de sel

– Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast and salt.

– Make a ‘well’ in the middle and pour in the water and 1 tbsp oil.

– Mix until it comes together to form a dough. Then knead until smooth and the dough springs back when you press it.

– Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for about 1 hour.

– Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and turn the oven on to 200 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 6

– Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and knock back the dough. Knead for a couple of minutes.

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– Divide into 12 even sized pieces.

– Roll each out into a long thin sausage shape and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. They don’t have to be perfect.

– Brush with the extra oil and sprinkle on the rosemary and salt.

– Leave to rise for about half an hour.

– Bake for 10-15 minutes until they’re turing golden and sound hollow when tapped.

– Cool on a wire rack.

– Best eaten fresh.