I’ve just been reading about the Danish phenomenon of ‘hygge’; the concept of cosiness, or, more precisely, “the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things”.
Log fires, candlelight, knitwear and hot chocolate are all ‘hygge’. And as the clocks go back and the nights draw in, I definitely like the sound of ‘hygge’ and will be fully embracing the concept over the next few months. Autumn is without doubt my favourite season, and I love having an excuse to batten down the hatches, drink copious amounts of tea, and snuggle under a blanket with a film.
I reckon soup also fits into the category of ‘hygge’. What could be more cosy on a chilly autumnal day than a bowl of warming soup?
This recipe uses two of the best veggies of this time of year – squash and fennel, whose flavours go hand in hand and work well together in this tasty soup. Roasting the veg brings out their sweetness, and the slightly sharp fennel flavour cuts through the richness of the squash perfectly.
Having a weekly organic veg box means I get to try some of the more unusual seasonal produce. For this recipe I used a Red Kuri squash. It’s a small, hard squash, originating from Japan, which has a creamy texture and a rich, chestnut-y taste when roasted. Look out for it at your local greengrocers or market, or replace with pumpkin/butternut squash if you’re unable to find it.
Serve with some warm, crusty bread and enjoy next to a crackling fire whilst wearing your best jumper – autumn cosiness at its best!
Roast squash and fennel soup
- 1 Red Kuri squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 2cm chunks
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into wedges
- 4 garlic cloves, skins still on
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Handful of parsley, finely chopped (or substitute dried)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Place squash, fennel and garlic cloves on baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes, until tender and the edges of squash are starting to caramelise.
Pop the garlic cloves out of their skin and add to a pan with the fennel and squash cubes. Add stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add lemon juice, parsley and seasoning to taste. Liquidise in a blender. Garnish with extra parsley or fennel fronds if desired.