... it's a funny time of year... you kind of want it to stay summer forever but for me the lure of October has begun it's spooky, crunchy-leafed crawl up into my mind... I was out walking along by the river late on saturday and with the nights beginning to draw in I had such a 'by the fireside' sensation which normally would make me worried for the end of the summer but it actually thrilled me a little... I swear I could smell autumn... i'm almost more excited about the on-coming Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night than Christmas... I can finally get out of these shorts and out on some proper clothes... Obviously all this thought of the change in the seasons effected the part of my brain that makes me crave certain foods so I rushed home to roast vegetables and fill the house the with the aroma of lovely things...
roasted beetroot and potato soup in homemade bread bowls
whenever we're in San Francisco we always visit the Fisherman's Wharf and even though it's a little tacky with its plethora of tourists shops, end of the pier attractions and over-priced boating excursions it still has an undeniable lure, particularly for the foodie with row after row of 'traditional' seaside fayre including the infamous clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl... the only issue with this of course is that The Viking cannot sit down with me to enjoy this fishy bowl of goodness and I just know that the idea of soup in a bowl you can eat is way up there on his 'best things in the world to eat' list...
for the soup
1 large bunch of raw beetroots (about 5) - cut into quarters
10 small potatoes - cut in half
1 medium onion - quartered
a selection of fresh herbs
olive oil and seasoning
2 pints good veg stock
for the bread bowls
400g strong white flour
1 teaspoon dried active yeast
1 teaspoon salt
300ml luke warm water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
start with the bread by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl and then kneading for about 10 mins until soft, place the dough back into the bowl, cover with cling film and leave it to rise for at least an hour or until doubled in size
one the dough is risen, knock it back on an oiled surface and divide the dough into 4 and shape into rounds, lay out on a baking sheet and cover again with cling film and set aside for 30 mins whilst you pre-heat the oven to 200C
Bake on 200C for 10 mins then turn down the oven to 170C for 25-30 mins, they will be ready when they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom - set aside on a wire rack to cool completely
to make the soup simply bung the veg and herbs into a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and seasoning and roast on 170C for about 30 mins until the veg are tender and beginning to turn golden
tip the roasted veg into a large pan, cover with stock and gently simmer for about 10 mins until the beetroot are tender, turn off the heat and let the soup cool a little before blending into a smooth soup. You may wish to sieve it at this stage but it's not essential.
when you're ready to serve place the rolls back into a hot oven for about 5 mins to totally firm up the crusts then cut a lid off the top of the bowls, scoop out the bread and fill the bowls with soup
eat and of course, enjoy!