Winter is over, and we are enjoying some lovely Spring weather here in Brisbane, so this soup is a little out of season, but my boy was home sick the other day so I made him some.
1-1.2 kg (2lb, 10oz) pumpkin (squash), peeled and de-seeded - use Kent, Butternut, Queensland Blue
2 large onions, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (I remove the seeds but you don't have to)
2 cloves garlic (optional - see seasoning's note)
1.5/6 cups litres stock (vegetable or if you prefer, chicken)
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F
Cut the pumpkin into cubes. The whole pumpkin pictured above was 2.4kg and gave me 1.2kg of pumpkin cubes. Toss the cubes in some EVOO and add any seasoning (see notes below). Place in a roasting dish, and bake for 30-35 minutes. Roasting the pumpkin first gives the soup a lovely flavour. If you are using butternut pumpkin you can just cut it in half, remove the seeds and roast for 50-60 minutes, then scoop out the flesh to add to the soup.
While the pumpkin's cooking, prepare all your other ingredients. Add 1-2 tbsp of stock or EVOO to a large saucepan/casserole dish and very gently on low heat, sweat your onions for 15-20 minutes with the lid on. You want to cook them slowly over low heat so they release their sugars and become sweet. You don't want to burn them or have them catch on the pan.
When the pumpkin is ready, add it to the casserole dish followed by the carrots, tomatoes, and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until the carrot is soft.
I use a hand blender to purée the soup. If you don't have one, you can also transfer the mixture to a heat-proof blender. Once puréed, taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper if needed.
Notes & Variations:
Seasoning - here are some seasonings you can use when you roast the pumpkin - cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, curry powder, chilli powder, or freshly grated nutmeg. For sweetness you can drizzle the pumpkin with honey before roasting. When I made this batch, I roasted 2 whole garlic cloves with the pumpkin and squeezed the flesh out of the skins to add to the soup. You could also roast a quartered red onion in the same way.
When you serve the soup you can add some snipped chives, chopped tarragon, or some mild red chilli slices.
You can also add a handful of chopped parsley (including the stalks) when you add the carrots and tomato.
This soup will make 6 batches which I freeze in plastic containers for quick healthy lunches. Serve with good crusty bread - this one is olive sourdough.
To adjust the thickness of the soup, increase the amount of pumpkin, or reduce the amount of stock. You can also use a mix of pumpkin and sweet potato.
Seasonality & Nutrition Information: can be found on my post - Roast Pumpkin & Olive Salad
Interesting Facts: When buying a whole pumpkin, make sure the stem is still attached. Store the pumpkin in a cool dry place, and preferably on it's side so moisture does not collect in the centre of the pumpkin causing rot. (source)
Why do I write all these notes at the bottom? Well I don't want to have multiple recipes for pumpkin soup in my recipe folder, I just want one good one that I can modify depending on my desires. This is one of the best recipes I've found, and with all the different seasoning suggestions, I can make many different versions of the soup.