Roasting rather than boiling the pumpkin makes this soup super flavoursome and full of depth

Pumpkin soup is quite a common and mainstream thing in Australia – not so in the UK? Why – because pumpkins are not an all season veg – we only seem to get it in abundance in the months of October and November to coincide with Halloween. So you can understand my delight that I can make (and batch freeze) anything pumpkin at the moment. The veggie is also a huge fan of pumpkin, so when we came across some mini pumpkins again, we decided it was time for pumpkin soup!

The recipe I have here is a homage to a close family friend back in Perth who made the best homemade pumpkin soup. I used to love going to her house as a kid and sink into some homemade pumpkin soup with warm homemade bread. There is something very nostalgically 1980s Australia with pumpkin soup. The secret I was told was to add carrot to the pumpkin soup, not just make it with pumpkin. However, I have been experimenting and have found that if you add a mirepoix of onion, carrots and celery AND roast the pumpkin, you come up with a winning combination busting with sweetness and depth that can challenge any fancy restaurant’s take on the humble pumpkin soup. 

What I like about this soup is you can freeze the soup for about 3 months (if you don’t add any cream until you cook it up again) and it’s a warming and economical meal during the colder months of the year. The slight downside is that it does take some effort to prepare but the time save is with the magic of batch cooking and freezing for a quick weekday meal.

The only thing here I must say is that the amount of water you use to thin the soup as well as cook the mirepoix is a bit of a judgement call (depending if you like a thick or thin soup) but I’ve hopefully given some guidance to help you along the way.

Ingredients

1 kg of pumpkin or squash skin peeled and chopped into slices

1 medium carrot diced

1 sprig of celery diced

1 medium onion diced

1-2 tablespoon light cooking olive oil

1 litre of water

Salt to taste

Parsley to garnish

Thick double cream to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Chop the pumpkin into slices and then peel off the skin and take out the flesh
  2. Lay the sliced pumpkin on a baking tray with greaseproof paper and lightly sprinkle evenly with olive oil
  3. Cook the pumpkin at 180 degrees for 30 minutes then lower the temperature to 160 degrees for another 30 minutes
  4. Whilst the pumpkin is cooking in the oven, chop the onion, carrots and celery into cubes
  5. Cook the mirepoix with 1-2 tablespoons of light cooking olive oil on a medium to high heat for 5 minutes. The onions should give off a nice smell but not be burnt brown
  6. Add 500ml of boiling hot water to the mirepoix and cook on a medium heat for 30 minutes, adding water to this mix if the water boils down
  7. Once the one hour is up and both the pumpkin and mirepoix mix is cooked, add the two together into a blender (or a big bowl so you can use a handheld stick blender) and blend the vegetables together. Depending on the consistency, add more water to your liking as well as salt
  8. Pour into bowls and add cream and condiments to your liking

Should you wish to add a little bit more intricacy to this dish, you can add other toppings like cooked mushrooms or some chickpeas.

Enjoy and welcome your thoughts on this recipe 🙂

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