- Serves: 4
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Effort: easy
For the soup
- 70 g butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 bulbs fennel, chopped
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 1cm cubes
- 1.2 litres water
- seeded bread, to serve
For the pesto
- 150 g nettle leaves, boiled and squeezed dry
- 50 g ready-cooked vacuum-packed chestnuts
- 1/2 lemon, juice only
- 1/2 tsp muscovado sugar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/3 nutmeg, freshly grated
Tips and Suggestions
blanching the nettles in boiling water removes their sting.
1. For the soup: melt the butter in a pan and add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and bay leaves. Gently fry for 8-10 minutes until soft and the flavours are released.
2. Tip in the fennel, apples and squash. Season and stir the vegetables together to coat them all in the buttery juices. Pour over the water - or just enough to slightly cover. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the squash is soft.
3. Remove from the heat and let it stand for at least 10 minutes. Pour the contents into a food processor and blend to a smooth consistency.
4. For the pesto: pulse all the ingredients in a food processor until you have a chunky paste.
5. Pour the soup into bowls and spoon the nettle pesto on top. Serve with lovely seeded bread.
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