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Roasted Sweet Potato And Apple Soup With Nutmeg, Homemade Crispy Baked Beet Chips, And Dry Apricot-Hazelnut Bread

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This picture-perfect, crusty loaf will satisfy both the novice and the experienced baker. Use it for breakfast toast or sandwiches.

 

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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


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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.

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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


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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.

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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.

Serve immediately.

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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 -)

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