Sprinkle your soup with toasted pumpkin seeds. Photo / Babiche Martens

This Pumpkin & Parsnip Soup With Olive Focaccia Will Make Any Day Cosier

Chipotle peppers and paprika make all the difference in this flavourful, smooth, soul-nourishing soup

This is a good warming soup for chilly days, with enough spice to give it a little kick. Any leftover focaccia is delicious sliced, brushed with butter and toasted under the grill with a sprinkle of grated cheese.

PUMPKIN AND PARSNIP SOUP RECIPE
Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp chipotle peppers in sauce
1kg pumpkin, peeled and chopped
1 litre chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Warm the oil in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic and parsnip, cooking for 5 minutes to soften. Stir through the paprika and chipotle peppers. Add the pumpkin and chicken stock, bringing to a simmer for 30 minutes or until everything is soft.

2. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Serve hot with a few toasted pumpkin seeds.

LEEK AND OLIVE FOCACCIA RECIPE
Makes 1 large loaf

1 ¾ cups tepid water
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
4 ½ cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil
10 olives
1 leek, sliced and lightly cooked
½ cup rosemary sprigs
1 Tbsp flaky sea salt to top

1. Place the tepid water into a bowl. Sprinkle over the sugar and yeast and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes until frothy.

2. Place the flour and teaspoon of salt into a large bowl of a mixer with a dough hook (or do by hand). Add the liquid and mix for 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough into it. Cover and place into a warm area for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3. Generously oil a 20cm x 30cm tin. Remove the dough and knead for a couple of minutes. Press the dough into the tin. Leave to rise for a further 40 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 200C. Gently press in the olives and leeks and rosemary sprigs. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle over any remaining oil. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and crispy.

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New Zealand Herald

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