If you've walked through a Target or scrolled through the internet for any amount of time this winter, you've probably come across the concept of hygge — the cozy, comforting, warm fuzzy feeling that Danish culture finds so defining there's a unique word for it.
While I can't help you get the perfect balance of potted plants and cozy socks to reach peak hygge in your home design, I can offer the next best thing to warm your soul on a chilly day: a hearty bowl of soup and hot-from-the-oven homemade bread.
This pumpkin, carrot and sweet potato soup comes with an extra kick of heat from the cayenne pepper, and it's especially tasty and filling with spicy sausage (totally optional for the vegetarians or vegans out there).
And luckily for those intimidated by the idea of breadmaking, it's actually super simple to make a perfectly crusty loaf without kneading the dough at all. You'll just need a Dutch oven and some time. Throw the ingredients in a bowl before leaving for work, the yeast will spend the next several hours working its magic, leaving the dough ready to bake by the time you're making dinner.
Pumpkin Carrot Soup with Spicy Sausage
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 large carrots, peeled
- 1 sweet potato, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- Leaves from one sprig fresh rosemary
- Leaves from two sprigs fresh sage
- 29-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 1 pound spicy ground sausage
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat large pot over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Dice the onion, carrot and sweet potato and add to the pot once the oil starts to shimmer.
2. Cook vegetables until starting to soften, stirring frequently. After about five minutes, add cayenne, garlic salt, rosemary and sage and cook for another two minutes or so.
3. Add the pumpkin and chicken broth to the pot, stirring well. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes until vegetables are soft.
4. Carefully transfer the mix to a blender in batches to puree until smooth, or use an immersion blender. Return mixture to pot and keep at a simmer.
5. Brown the ground sausage in another pan, drain the oil, then add to the soup and serve.
No-knead Rosemary Garlic Bread
- 1-1/2 cups warm water
- 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups flour
- 1 head of garlic cloves, peeled
- Leaves from 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1. In a large bowl, combine the water, honey and yeast and let sit until bubbles start to form on the surface.
2. Add the salt and stir, then only partially mix in the flour. Sprinkle the whole garlic cloves and rosemary into the bowl, then finish mixing until everything is well combined.
3. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours.
4. Put Dutch oven with the lid on in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Once the oven reaches temperature, flour a cutting board and your hands and carefully remove the dough from the bowl, shaping it into a round loaf. Cut a slash or two on top, and carefully put it into the Dutch oven. Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the lid and bake for another 10-20 minutes until the loaf is golden brown. Cool, slice and serve with butter. ♦