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Friday, June 5, 2009

Soup Sunday: Curried pumpkin and kumara soup + onion focaccia

Pumpkin & kumara soup + onion focaccia

Gosh, I'm running a bit late with the Soup Sunday post - it's almost Sunday again! (And I have a super duper long weekend edition planned. Oh my!). The soup for this Sunday helped me use up bits and pieces - one of the reasons I love making soup! I had a few kumara (sweet potatoes), half a pumpkin, a couple of carrots and a leek. Not much by themselves, but all together they were a pot of orange goodness.

Into the pot went the sliced leek, a couple of crushed cloves of garlic, three diced kumara, the diced pumpkin half and two diced carrots. After they softened in a glug of oil for several minutes, I added enough water to just cover the vegetables. I let it simmer until soft, blended it up with the stick blender, and then seasoned with salt and pepper plus a smidge of curry powder (I love curry and pumpkin together).

The end result was pretty much pumpkin soup, but the kumara did add a touch more sweetness than usual.

Pumpkin & kumara soup + onion focaccia

I also made an onion focaccia that evening using a recipe from my baking bible, Australian Women’s Weekly “Bake”. The focaccia was great! I let my mixer do the kneading so all I really had to do was throw the ingredients in the bowl and slice the onions. I'll definitely use this recipe again as a base and try some different variations.

Onion focaccia

From Australia Women's Weekly "Bake"

2 & 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour
2 teaspoons (7g) dried yeast
1/2 cup (20g) finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons coarsley chopped fresh sage
3 teaspoons sea salt flake
1 cup (250ml) warm water
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
1 small white onion (80g) sliced thinly

Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the yeast, cheese, sage and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Gradually stir in the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Knead for about 10 minutes until the oil is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough on an oiled tray and press into a 24cm circle. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm place until it doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Combine the onion, remaining salt and remaining oil in a bowl. After the dough has finished rising, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the top with the onion mixture.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Let it cool on a wire rack.

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