Today’s prompt is “Autumn Equinox Eats”. I will admit, I don’t know much about the Autumn equinox – sure you hear about the summer/winter equinoxes, but not the Autumn one. Turns out, the Autumn equinox is smack bang in the middle of Summer and winter, and is the day when the day and night are the same length, balancing each other out. Which is pretty cool, really.
I still didn’t really know what food to make though. But, looking into it, the sort of food/celebrations people have for the Autumn equinox seem to be pretty similar to what I’m used to as “harvest” food. Here, around this time of year, churches and communities will celebrate the Harvest, holding harvest festivals and lunches full of seasonal food. Fresh baked bread, soups, etc are all in abundance.
That being said, I decided to make some easy bread and a nice roasted vegetable soup. I had some squash left over from yesterday’s risotto and I went to Leicester market and picked up a few bags of vegetables. I had potatoes, carrots, peppers, courgette, mushrooms, tomatoes, and squash all roasting. You can use whatever you have – it’s all about being seasonal and celebrating the flavours available to you.
I made three trays of roasted vegetables, but probably only used about half of them in this soup. I froze the rest to use another day – having roasted vegetables in the freezer makes for some really easy meals!
For the bread, I didn’t have time to make one that needed to rise so I decided to go with a soda bread! Quick and easy, soda breads don’t need kneading, or rising, and pretty much just come together then get thrown in the oven. Rustic looking, they fit well with the harvest theme. I put a handful of mixed seeds in mine – you can get bags of seeds from supermarkets. My recipe also has oats for that extra rustic taste!
Bread before baking
Bread after baking!
Roasted Vegetable Soup with Seeded Soda Bread
for the bread:
- 650g plain flour (or use a mix of plain/wholemeal)
- 110g oats
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 50g mixed seeds
- 25g vegan butter
- 400ml milk of choice
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
for the soup:
- Mixed vegetables (I used carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, potatoes, peppers, and courgette), diced, approximately 4-5 cups worth
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp stock powder/1 stock cube
- boiling water
Preheat the oven to 200C/390F
- First make the bread. In a jug, mix together the lemon juice and milk. Set aside (it will curdle, that is good).
- Mix the flour, oats, bicarb, salt, and seeds in a large bowl.
- Rub the butter in with your fingers, and then slowly pour in the milk mixture.
- Mix until just combined. Do not overmix or it will not rise! Shape into a rough circle.
- Place on a baking sheet and score a large cross through the middle of the dough.
- Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until it sounds hollow when tapped, and is golden brown.
- Next, make the soup. Spread the vegetables on baking trays evenly – you don’t want them layered up.
- Put the vegetables in the oven for 20 minutes, after which remove them and stir so they do not stick to the bottom.
- Put the vegetables back in the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until they are soft and starting to blacken.
- Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in a saucepan until softened.
- Add the roasted vegetables and tomato puree and mix.
- Stir through the stock powder, and pour over the boiling water until it just covers the vegetables.
- Cook for a couple of minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
- Using a hand blender, blend the soup until almost completely blended. Leave a few chunks of vegetables whole. Alternatively pour into a stand blender and blend.
- Serve hot in bowls with the bread and butter!