I’m putting pumpkin in everything at the moment. It’s such an earthy, autumnal flavour, and goes beautifully with so many things.
The first time I ever had pumpkin soup was as a child: I have a vague memory of mum making it for me and my sister, and us turning our noses up at it. I doubt very much that it was due to mum’s cooking – we’d never had anything like pumpkin before (no squash or sweet potatoes, either), and like a lot of children were wary of change. Thankfully that’s something we’ve both grown out of (with food, at least!).
Pumpkin soup is quite a traditional dish, but the sage and shallots in this give it a lovely twist. You can easily make it in bulk and freeze for future use, or try using a soup mug to take it into work for a comforting packed lunch.
Ingredients (serves 4):
– 1 edible pumpkin (about 1kg unprepped weight)
– 2 large onions
– 3 cloves garlic
– 30g butter
– handful sage leaves (about 12, or to taste)
– large glass dry white wine
– 1L vegetable stock
– 2 shallots, sliced into rings
– handful pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat your oven to 220°C. Wash the pumpkin and chop it into chunks; don’t bother peeling it – once it’s roasted the skin will come away easily. Place into a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly
2. Roughly chop the onion and garlic. Place into a large pot along with the butter, and cook on a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir in the sage leaves (roughly chopped) after the first 5 minutes.
3. Peel the pumpkin skin away from the flesh, and add the latter to the pot with the onions. Add the white wine and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan, until darker in colour and beginning to crack. Set aside. Add a small knob of butter to the now empty pan, and fry the shallots for about 5 minutes, until golden and crisp.
5. Use a stick blender to blend the soup, then ladle into bowls. Sprinkle the toasted pumpkin seeds and shallots over the top, then serve with crusty bread.
Tip: to make this vegan, simply replace the butter with 1 tbsp olive oil.