Some people say you have to be born in Scandinavia to able to survive here during the dark winter months. I disagree. Although I am born here, I will never get used to this crazy climate. Perhaps my DNA has it’s own explanation for that…. (some of my ancestors would probably agree).
Anyway, a way not to get all wacked here is to embrace the season and learn how to love it’s advantages. Here is how to do it:
Cook good food from the many wonderful ingredients we have access to and add flavor and color to your dishes too. Light candles and sit down around your table and notice that over the next mouthfuls you will have forgotten all about winter darkness and the cold rain in the storm outside.
Although tomatoes are grown in greenhouses on Fyn (the island in the middle of little Denmark) and squash (zucchini, courgette – same same) are not as such domestic vegetables, they create a beautiful companionship with homegrown walnuts (which I – admittedly – have “wrested” from the local squirrels) in this delicious soup. Serve it with homemade sourdough bread and you will almost end up loving the winter.
Tomato, squash and walnut soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
1 clove of garlic
350 g. of tomatoes (equivalent to 3 – 4 large tomatoes)
1 can of peeled tomatoes
450 g. squash (roughly equivalent to a small squash)
9 dl. vegetable stock (*see bottom of this recipe)
1 vegetable stock cube
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
50g. chopped walnuts
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil or fresh oregano for garnish.
Peel the shell of the onion and the garlic and cut them into small cubes. Peel the potato and cut it into cubes.
Wash the tomatoes in cold water and cut them each into 8 pieces. Rinse the squash and cut it into slices.
Have the vegetable stock cube and vegetable fund ready (*vegetable stock – see the guidelines in the bottom of this recipe). Chop the walnuts.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Pour the onion, garlic and potatoes in and sauté it all for 5 min. Make sure, that the vegetables are not browned.
Add the tomatoes, the canned, peeled tomatoes, vegetable stock, bay leaf and oregano.
Bring the soup to boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. Add the squash and basil and let the soup simmer for another 5 minutes or till the squash is smooth. Let the soup cool slightly.
Blend the soup with a handblender.
Stir in the chopped walnuts and season the soup with salt and pepper. Garnish with sour cream and fresh basil or fresh oregano and serve it with homemade sourdough bread.
Tip: The soup is suitable for freezing. The walnuts give the soup an extra crunchy texture.
*Vegetable stock: Buy a ready made stock or create your own.
Take 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 leek, 100 g. celery, 1 parsnip and a handful of fresh herbs – eg. rosemary, thyme, oregano or whatever you have. (You can actually use different kinds of root vegetables – depending on what you have in your fridge).
Wash the vegetables and the herbs (peel the root vegetables) – chop it coarsely, use the entire leek, and put the ingredients in a saucepan with 1 liter of cold water.
Boil all the ingredients for about 20 min. (or until smooth ) and use the stock in the soup. I usually make a double portion and freeze the stock. A great way to prevent food waste.