Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Soup with Nutmeg, Homemade Crispy Baked Beet Chips, and Dry Apricot-Hazelnut Bread
This picture-perfect, crusty loaf will satisfy both the novice and the experienced baker. Use it for breakfast toast or sandwiches.
Ingredients for apricot-hazelnut bread:
- 300 ml mineral water
- 1 tbsp dry yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup shelled and roasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup dry apricots, cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 cups bread flour (min 12% protein)
- 1/2 cup rye flour
Direction for apricot-hazelnut bread:
Mix the yeast with the brown sugar, add a bit of water and two tablespoons of flour, stir thoroughly, leave for 10 min. Add in the rest of the water and mix well. Adding gradually the flour make a dough, add the salt, dry apricots and roasted hazelnuts at the end. Knead the dough for 5 min, shape into a ball, dust thoroughly with the flour and leave to rise covered in a container for 1 hour. Shape the bread into a loaf of any form, generously sprinkle with the flour and transfer the loaf onto a baking paper. Cover with the kitchen towel and leave for 30 min.
Preheat the oven together with the baking tray to 420F. Score the loaf, using a sharp knife at a 45° angle. Bake for 5 min, reduce the heat to 400F, and bake for 35 min. Switch off the oven, transfer the bread on a grid and keep it in the oven for 10-15 min, leaving the oven door ajar.
Take the bread out of the oven and cool down completely on a wire rack.
As colorful as it is good to eat, soup is sure winner, whether for midweek family supper or a dinner - party first course. A delicious soup that makes the most of freshly picked apples.
Ingredients for roasted sweet potato and apple soup:
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 leeks, sliced thinly
- 1 large carrot, sliced thinly
- 1 lb 5 oz/600 g sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 2 large apples, peeled and diced
- 5 cups broth
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup light cream
- salt and pepper
- fresh chives or cilantro, to garnish
Directions for soup:
Preheat an oven to 400ºF.
In a bowl, combine the carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until the carrots are tender and golden around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes.
In a soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring, until tender 5 to 10 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables, broth, nutmeg and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium- low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Using a blender, food processor or stick blender, puree the soup, then pass it through a chinois. Return the soup to the pot add cream and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish each serving with a cilantro sprig and the beet chips.
Ingredients for beet chips:
- 1-2 beets, large, scrubbed clean
- nonstick cooking spray
- salt, to taste
Directions for beet chips:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Using the slicing blade of your food processor, a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice beets thinly. You want them to be the size of a potato chip.
Spread evenly on a cookie sheet, spray with nonstick spray and season with salt.
Roast about 2 hours, turning halfway through, until crisp. Check often to make sure they don't burn. you may need to roast for a shorter or longer period of time depending on your oven and how crisp you want them - so keep an eye on them -)