So I was about 13 years of age when I cooked my very first meal all by myself. Pumpkin was not a vegetable that I came across much growing up; no one but my brother-in-law liked pumpkin, and even he only liked it cooked in a certain way.
I can’t really remember why I was so adamant about cooking pumpkin soup, but I went shopping for the ingredients and I painstakingly followed a recipe I found in one of my sister’s cookbooks. It turned out quite nice too, but not really what I was expecting.
I quickly learnt that I am not spontaneous in the kitchen. I can’t just throw things together and know that they will work like my mum does. I have to cook a dish exactly as the recipe says to for the first couple of times before I pull it apart and put it back together my own way.
I also learnt that unless the soup is potato and leek, potatoes do not belong in creamy soups. I wanted pumpkin soup, not vegetable soup. So I made it again, minus the potatoes and carrots, roasting the pumpkin instead of boiling and adding some different herbs. It turned out to be a wonderfully creamy roasted pumpkin soup that was so good that even my sister loved it, and a pumpkin fan she is not!
Now, almost twenty years later, I have not altered the recipe at all and it is still one of my all time favourite soups. My sister on the other hand adds potatoes to cut the sweetness, and my eldest niece still calls me to complain that her mum just can’t make pumpkin soup the way I can…
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- 1 kg Butternut Pumpkin (peeled, deseeded and cut into small cubes)
- 500 ml Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 250 ml Thicken Cream (Single Pouring Cream)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil or Basil Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary (finely chopped or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary)
- ½ Teaspoon Nutmeg
- Salt (to taste)
- Sour Cream (to garnish)
- Preheat oven to 200°C
- Spread oil onto a baking dish or roasting pan, add the cut up pumpkin, tossing lightly to coat and sprinkle with rosemary and salt.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and starting to brown (the slight caramelisation of the pumpkins add a lovely, almost nutty flavour to the soup).
- When the pumpkin pieces are almost ready, bring the stock to a boil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Simmer gently for five minutes before adding the pumpkin and roasting juices to the stock. Continue to simmer for a further five to ten minutes and then cool slightly.
- In batch (typically two), puree the pumpkin and stock in a blender or food processor.
- Return to the pot over low heat and add the thicken cream and the nutmeg. Stir to combine until the soup has heated through.
- Serve with fresh bread, garlic bread or parmesan toast.
Note 1: Depending on the season, soup made from butternut pumpkins can sometimes be more yellow instead of orange, especially if adding cream or milk. If you are really after the great orange colour of pumpkin soup, add a quarter cut of Japanese pumpkin. If you would like a sweeter taste, add a small sweet dumpling pumpkin.
Note 2: If you want a thicker soup, combine the stock and the thicken cream together, add the pumpkin and simmer for about ten minutes, and then puree in batches.