Squash, apple and sage soup with grilled Palla Rossa chicory and persillade
Yummy and comforting sweet autumn soup with chicory and a garlicky twist. Persillade is a great way of preserving a glut of fresh parsley and adding it to food will give your dishes a distinctly French flavour!
For the soup
1 whole butternut or red kuri squash, deseeded and cut in to 1cm thick slices
1 medium onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 apples, cored and
1 bunch of sage, tied with string
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Half a head of palla rossa chicory cut in to 4 wedges
For the persillade
1 large bunch of fresh parsley
1 whole bulb of garlic
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp salt
Toss the squash in half the oil, a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper and roast in a tray at 180C for 30-40 mins until soft but not yet too crispy. Meanwhile, softly fry the onions and celery in the remaining oil with a pinch of salt for ten minutes until transparent. Add the fennel seeds, sage bunch and apples and cook until starting to tinge golden on the edges. When the squash is ready, add the pieces to the pan, cover with 1l of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 mins, allow to cool and then blitz until smooth. Check for seasoning but don’t add too much salt as the persillade will add salt at the end.
The persillade can be made at any time and stored in a jar in the fridge for up to a month so long as everything is kept under a layer of oil. To make it, simply chop the parsley and garlic finely (or pulse in a food processor) similar to making pesto. Place in a large glass jar with the remaining ingredients, adding enough oil to cover the top. Give it all a good mix and set aside.
When you are ready to serve, place the chicory wedges in an oven tray, drizzle in oil and place under a hot grill until golden. Serve the grilled wedges on top of the soup with a spoon of persillade on top.