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Pumpkin and Parsnip Soup and Pesto Babka

A very complete, nutritious and full of vitamins meal is the best way to start the year!
This month, Termas de Chaves goes beyond borders and combines traditional vegetables with an unusual dish originating from the Jewish communities of Poland and Ukraine. There are no limits to this explosion of flavors!
To start, we suggest the Pumpkin and Cherry Soup, two good sources of vitamins and minerals, with an excellent nutritional composition that satiates your appetite. Then, for something lighter but composed, we recommend a slice of pesto Babka, an innovative version of the original recipe for this traditional Eastern European sweet bread.
Get your hands dirty and enjoy these delicious suggestions! Enjoy your food.
Pumpkin and Parsnip Soup
• 600 g + 100 g parsnips
• 400 g butternut squash
• 300 g of sweet potato
• 200 g of orange lentils
• 1 yellow onion
• 3 carrots
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 1 piece of ginger
• 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon of garam masala
• Boiling water q.s.
• Pepper and oil q.b,
• Crème fraîche q.b.
• Fresh coriander q.s.

Preparation mode:
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel 100 g of parsnips and cut into thin slices using a peeler. Then scald them in boiling water for one minute, drain the water and dry the slices. Place them in a single layer on a tray previously greased with olive oil and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
Place the oil, onion, parsnips, garlic and ginger in a pan and cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden brown - do not let it burn. Then add the cumin seeds, the teaspoon of garam masala and the previously soaked lentils and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Add the boiled water and let it cook on low heat for 30 minutes. You can add a little more water if needed. Grind and rectify the seasonings.
Pour the soup into bowls, spoon in the crème fraîche and sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves and a little garam masala. On top, arrange the crispy parsnips.
Pesto Babka
• 100 g of pine nuts
• 2 large sprigs of basil
• ½ bunch of parsley
• 1 clove of garlic
• 6 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
• 150 ml of extra virgin olive oil
Babka dough
• 200 ml of goat's milk
• 2.5 tablespoons of dry yeast
• 300 g of wheat flour
• 150 g of oat flour
• 50 g of softened butter
• 1 egg
• 1 spoon of brown sugar
• Sesame seeds q.b.
Preparation mode:
To make the dough, heat the milk until lukewarm, place it in a large glass bowl, add the yeast and mix very well. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
Then add the flour, softened butter, beaten egg, sugar and salt to the milk mixture. Mix everything together until the dough comes together, then knead until smooth and elastic – about 15 minutes. Cover the dough with cling film and let it rise for approximately 2 hours until it has more than doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, prepare the pesto. Place the pine nuts in a frying pan and let them brown a little. Then add the pine nuts and the remaining ingredients and grind in a blender. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
When the dough has risen, place it on a stone bench. Press and roll the dough into a large rectangle with the help of a rolling pin.
Spread a thin layer of pesto evenly over the dough. Roll the dough into a long, tight roll. Cut it in half lengthwise. Braid the two long pieces so that the pesto layers are facing up.
Place the braid on a tray lined with parchment paper and sprinkle the braid with sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes, until the bread is cooked through and nicely browned on top.
Accompany Babka with the pumpkin and parsnip soup.
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