Thursday, 23 October 2014

Classic Roasted Pumpkin Soup

A random tweet about Autumn things, and the fact that slugs had detected a weakness in my kids' pumpkin's soft underbelly, found me googling 'classic pumpkin soup' the other day.

There are a wealth of recipes out there, some less classic than others, but in the end I settled on an American recipe - and then tweeked it.  I really wasn't sure about the spices, and cinnamon in particular, thinking I was going to end up with a pumpkin pie affair on my hands.  But it works.  I ended up with a lovely warming savoury soup.  Just what I was after.

Serves 6-8 (It made 4 500ml pots)
Cooking time 1.5 hours 

1 medium pumpkin (scrapings from the inside of your halloween pumpkin can be used instead)
1 medium onion
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1 clove of garlic
1tbsp olive oil
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock (2 stock cubes + 1l recently boiled water)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
100g full fat soft cheese

Cut the pumpkin into quarters and scrape out the seeds (these can be rinsed, tossed in oil, salt, and paprika, spread out on a shallow roasting tin and roasted at the same time as the pumpkin).  Rub a little olive oil into the quarters, sprinkle over a little salt and roast on a baking tray for about 1 hour at 200C until the pumpkin cuts like butter with a knife.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool whilst you prepare the other vegetables.

Peel and roughly chop the onion, garlic and carrot.  Fry the onion and garlic gently in a saucepan, adding the carrot when it is ready, and then the roughly chopped celery. Stir the vegetables for about 5-10 minutes to allow them to soft but not brown.

Scoop out the soft pumpkin flesh and add this to the softening vegetables.  Stir around and then add the stock and spices.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

Take off the heat and leave to cool a little with the lid off for 5 or so minutes before liquidising with a stick blender.  After a first quick blitz, add the soft cheese and blitz again until the soup is smooth and silky.  I had to add a couple of teaspoons of sugar as the pumpkin had a slightly bitter aftertaste for some strange reason, but hopefully yours will not.

And I have promised to buy the kids another pumpkin to carve next week.

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