This time of year is great for soups and I love roasting off vegetables to make them sweeter and deepen their flavour. Roasting the squash and swede together adds a really nice sweetness to the soup. You get a nice smokiness from the pancetta. I loved the crispy bacon bits and the crispy croutons to finish the dish off nicely.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 squash, seeds removed and cut into chunks
- 1 swede, peeled and cubed
- 3 shallots, peeled and halved
- 2 garlic cloves
- sprig of thyme
- drizzle of olive oil
- 75g smoked bacon or pancetta lardons
- 1L vegetable stock
- sea salt and cracked pepper
- grated parmesan for serving
For the croutons
- 2 slices of stale bread, torn into chunks
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees (fan).
- Place the swede, squash, shallots and garlic cloves (in skins) on a baking sheet. Add a drizzle of olive oil, the thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Rub the vegetables all over to coat. Bake for 30 minutes.
- While the vegetables are baking fry the bacon or pancetta lardons for 3-4 minutes until crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
- Also prepare the croutons by adding the bread pieces to a bowl. Drizzle with oil seasoning and parmesan. Toss to coat.
- After the 30 minutes of baking remove the squash to a chopping board. Place the shallots into a sauce pan along with garlic (squeeze out of the skin). Return the swede to the oven along with the croutons and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Once the squash is cool enough to handle remove the skins and add to the pan. Add half of the bacon lardons and the cooked swede. Pour over the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- To serve. Blitz the soup until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Spoon into the serving bowls, top with some lardons, croutons and grate over some parmesan.