The rains, they have arrived in our part of the world. The last few weeks have been the most gorgeous weather. To celebrate this, I am posting a nice recipe for a simple soup and some fabulous pesto rolls. Nupur’s BB#4: Whats lurking in your kitchen made me look at my fridge with renewed interest and even tho the last date for entries is over, with the amount of stuff i have hoarded both in the fridge and the pantry, i will be continuing to cook for the next couple of weeks with ingredients already here.
OK enough now… onto the recipe….
For the Pesto Rolls, the recipe inspiration was from these gorgeous rolls. So the pesto sauce is the same that i used for the Spaghetti. And of course I had to make changes to the recipe for the roll. Swapping the All purpose Flour with whole wheat etc. I also skipped the cheese (I know cheese makes everything more awesome, but really, I do not need cheese in my life… not at this point).
For the Pesto Rolls (makes 24 small rolls)
1/2 Cup Pesto from this recipe
3 cups flour, you can use All Purpose, I used 2 cups Whole Wheat and 1 Cup APF
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 cup water (warm)
1/2 cup milk (warm)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix together the sugar, water and milk. Add the yeast, mix well and leave it on the counter top to bloom (about 15-30 mins). in a large bowl, add the flours, salt and mix. Add the milk- water mix and knead to a smooth dough. You can also do this in a food processor. Oil a bowl with the olive oil and place this dough in the bowl, turn to coat with the oil and cover and set aside till it doubles in size, about 1 hr.
Punch the dough down and knead it for 2-3 minutes till it is nice and elastic. divide into two large portions and shape into a ball rolling it between your palms.
Flour a clean rolling surface with a little bit of dry flour. I use my stone counter top. With a rolling pin, roll out to a 1/4th of an inch thickness. you can roll into a rectangular shape, i just rolled it out round.
Spread the pesto with a blunt knife in a thin even layer. Pick up one end of the dough and roll it into a spiral. with both your palms, make a roll like a swiss roll. gently move it onto a chopping board and slice into 11/2 inch pieces. (they can be frozen at this point and baked straight out of the freezer when needed) Place on a baking tray and leave them to rise for about 45 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 375degrees F and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. When done and still hot, brush with some melted butter. I shaped a few into croissants just for fun and ended up with about 24 small rolls. enjoy while still warm with a hot bowl of soup.
Pumpkin and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup (serves 3)
1 medium sized red bell pepper
1 cup yellow pumpkin,skinned and cubed
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 ripe red tomato, chopped
1 teablespoon olive oil or butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup of milk (i used skimmed milk)
Roast the Red bell pepper on and open flame till charred, keep it in a tightly closed container (or a zip lock bag) to sweat. scrape off the charred skin, seeds and stalk and chop up the flesh into small pieces.
Heat the butter/ oil in a pressure cooker. Add the chopped garlic and saute till aromatic. Add the chopped onions, pumpkin pieces and saute for 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomato and red bell peppers, salt and 3 cups of hot water and pressure cook for 2 whistles. When the pressure releases, open the cooker, pour into the blender jar and pulse till everything is incorporated. Strain with a soup strainer to remove the skins of tomato etc. pour it back into the pressure cooker, add the milk , oregano and pepper and heat through, stirring constantly. Taste to check for seasoning and adjust. Serve hot or cold.