1 squash / half pumpkin (roughly 900g / 31 fl oz)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 fennel bulb chopped, fronds reserved
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 litre / 35fl oz chicken or veg stock
For the salsa verde
25g / 0.8 oz bunch parsley
25g / 0.8 oz bunch basil
25g / 0.8 oz bunch mint
1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
For the crispy sage
1 tbsp olive oil
12 sage leaves
Freshly toasted slices of Sourdough bread
- Heat the oven to 200°C / fan 180°C / gas 6. Peel and halve the squash or pumpkin and remove the seeds. Tip onto a roasting tray, drizzle with half the olive oil, season and roast for 25 minutes until soft.
- Meanwhile, warm the other 2 tbsps of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and fennel, season well and sweat with a lid for 15 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for a few minutes. Add the roasted squash / pumpkin and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and blend until smooth, season to taste.
- Make the salsa verde. Roughly chop the herbs and place in a mortar, season generously and bash with a pestle until the herbs are dark and releasing their natural oils. Add the sugar and pour over the vinegar and olive oil then stir in the pumpkin seeds.
- For the crispy sage leaves. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the sage leaves and fry until crisp. Remove to some kitchen towel to drain. Dish up the soup into bowls and top with the salsa verde and crispy sage. Great served with grilled sourdough rubbed with some garlic.