When the weather is chilly, I think of comfort food. Something warm and it usually involves bread, always homemade and even better when served with soup.
As you may know, I prefer to load my meals with vegetables, so putting roasted butterkin in and on top of focaccia seemed perfect to me. Roasted butterkin focaccia has quickly become a new family favourite, especially delicious when dunked in red pepper soup. Fresh from the oven, butterkin focaccia and a steaming bowl of red pepper soup is ideal for sharing. Whether a weekend lunch or a first course for a family dinner, this combo is light, full of flavour and very satiating.
No butterkin? No problem, this soup recipe is perfect for adaptation. Try a butternut or kūmara (sweet potato), instead of rosemary you could try thyme, sage or coat them in chilli before roasting.
This soup really lends itself to your creativity. Thicken with red lentils or add a tin of chopped tomatoes. Add touch of spice by with a curry paste or some harissa. Maybe just add a swirl of plant-based pesto or serve with crunchy polenta croutons. The possibilities are almost endless.
Butterkin Focaccia and Red Pepper Soup
If you prepare the focaccia dough first, you can roast the butterkin while it is proving. The soup can be quickly prepared while the butterkin focaccia is proving for the second time and they can be ready to serve together.
- 2 cups roasted butterkin – or other roasted root vegetable
- 1/4 red onion finely sliced
- dried rosemary
- olive oil
- 350g flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 10g dried yeast
- 250ml water
- 45ml olive oil plus more for drizzling
Sift flour into a mixing bowl, add salt one side, yeast on the other. Mix the olive oil and water together in a jug.
Using a dough hook, start at a slow speed, pour the water and oil into bowl, increase the speed once the dough starts to form. Mix until the dough is smooth, it will wrap around the dough hook and leave the sides of the bowl clean when ready.
Pour the water and oil into the bowl and mix until the water and oil are combined. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Put the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size.
Peel, slice or dice the butterkin or your choice of root vegetable. Put into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, scatter with dried rosemary and season. Roast in the oven @180ºC for 20 to 30 minutes or until just cooked. Set aside to cool.
You can make the soup in THE time it takes to complete the next step
Once the dough has doubled in size, knock back the dough and knead for a couple of minutes. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1cm thick. Scatter half of the dough with 1/2 of the roast butterkin and fold the top over. Scatter half the dough with 1/4 of the butterkin and fold the top over again.
Press the dough into a rectangle about 20 x 30cm and transfer onto a lined baking tray. Use the remaining butterkin slices or pieces and red onion slices to decorate the surface. Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise again for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Pre-heat oven to 220ºC.
When the butterkin focaccia is ready, dimple the surface with your fingers, drizzle with olive oil and scatter with sea salt. Turn the oven down to 200ºC after 10 minutes then bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.
Red Pepper Soup
- 30ml olive oil or vegetable stock
- 2 medium onion diced
- bay leaf
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 5 large red peppers
- garlic cloves – your choice how many
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- sea salt and pepper
Wash, peel and finely chop onion, garlic and potato. Heat olive oil in a heavy based pot, add the diced vegetables, a pinch of sea salt and the bayleaf. Sauté over a medium high heat until the onion and potato are softened.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute before deglazing the pot with white wine, add the stock and the remaining ingredients. (If not using white wine just skip the step)
Simmer until all the ingredients are soft, remove the bayleaf and blend into a smooth soup and return to the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep warm until serving.
More recipes you might like
If you’re a fan of this recipe, imagine a baked butterkin filled with layers of root vegetables and sauce, or you could try this pumpkin and pepper soup which is served with an easy soda bread or try this Focaccia for a gluten-free bread option.
To use up small amounts of a variety of vegetables, winter garden soup is a great base to start with. Soup is even better with bread, this easy overnight bread recipe is a staple in our house and very popular with my neighbours.