A bail of hay sat on a lonesome hill, soaking up the last rays of sunshine for the day. It was a handsome sight. ‘All is right with the world’, I heard myself think, if only for a moment. These little instants are precious. It is just a moment, but a moment in a day with a bail of hay is enough for me. I like to think of myself connecting the dots of my life from moment to moment. So the bail of hay, that’s the first dot. The second would be a bunch of cockatoos that noisily flew off into a red sunset. The third dot was a child skipping to the playground with mum. Can you tell? Little things like this excite me.
M and I went on a long drive through the country and we connected dots as we went. We had decided to check out a few state campsites in preparation for our next camping trip. On the way, I stopped to notice a little stand outside someone’s property that asked you to leave money for fresh fruit and vegetables on offer. There were apples and avocados and some oranges too (that was dot five). No one was around. And I caught myself eying off the fresh food with a huge grin. I love honestly leaving cash for someone’s produce, right on the doorstep of where it was grown. What a treat! Of course there were some sheep, who were looking on curiously.
We returned excited and refreshed in the evening with new ideas for our next adventure. At the end of our trip we needed a pick me up. But the nights are cold, even if the days are still blue. We needed something warming. ‘I know, I’ll make some soup!’
Roast pumpkin and fennel make a lovely combination for a hearty winter soup. It is a ‘no fuss’ soup, a weeknight soup and a freeze-able soup. Perfect for autumn. I like to add some pesto as a garnish and there is nothing wrong with a swig of cream. To be enjoyed with a blanket and a glass of red.
Roast pumpkin and fennel soup
For the soup
1 butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 large fennel, stalks removed and cut into wedges
2 liters of chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup cream
Salt to taste
For the pesto
2 handfulls of fresh parsley
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs pine nuts
I tbs grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 180c, line a baking try with baking paper.
Place the pumpkin and fennel on the tray and roast for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
Meanwhile, bring the stock to boil in a large saucepan.
To make the pesto, combine the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and blitz. Set aside.
Once the vegetables are cooked add them to the stock and let them cook for 10 minutes or until really soft.
Using a sick mixer, blend the soup until a smooth consistency is reached. Add cream and salt to taste and serve with the pesto.