When we were over in France at Christmas-time we bought a few foodstuffs and ingredients to bring home with us, one of which was this:
These are vermicelli, or fine noodles, flavoured with Potimarron, a type of Winter Squash (Cucurbita Maxima), sometimes called a Hubbard Squash. According to the list of ingredients on the pack (blessedly short!) the vermicelli includes 4% of the Potimarron. The French name "Potimarron" is a merger of "Potiron" (Squash) and "Marron" (Chestnut), which will give you an idea of the taste - which is nutty. The most commonly encountered variety of this vegetable is Uchiki Kuri. Researching this, I found that "Kuri" is the Japanese word for Chestnut. Hardly a coincidence, I suppose!
These vermicelli are evidently intended for use in soups because they are chopped into convenient 2cm lengths. This makes eating your soup a lot easier than would otherwise be the case.
This is the recipe for the soup I made:
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Approx 200g celeriac, peeled and diced
4 or 5 spears of Sprouting Broccoli (or equivalent green veg, perhaps cabbage), chopped into 2.5cm lengths
75g vermicelli, or similar fine noodles
1.5 litres stock
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 squeeze from a tube of tomato puree (mainly to add colour)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan and soften the onion, carrot and celeriac, without browning
Add the stock and the Sprouting Broccoli
Simmer gently for about 15 -20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still firm
Add the vermicelli and simmer for another 5 - 10 minutes until they are fully cooked and soft (not "al dente")
Season to taste
This is the end result:
The taste of this soup was indeed "nutty", but also ever so slightly sweet, just like a pumpkin is. Nice!