Squash Soup

The Best Ever Pumpkin Soup

Recipes

Autumn seasonal favourite in Australia is pumpkin. It can be roasted, mashed or made into a pie. But it’s pumpkin soup that is the crowd favourite.

So here is a really simple four ingredient pumpkin soup, plus some variations to lift it from ordinary to extraordinary.

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Autumn seasonal favourite in Australia is pumpkin. It can be roasted, mashed or made into a pie. But it’s pumpkin soup that is the crowd favourite. Interestingly, pumpkin is regularly the most searched soup on recipe websites – a little weird as it is ridiculously easy to do.

Like any smooth vegetable soup it’s essentially combining a cooked kilo of the veg in question with a litre of a suitable stock (vegetable for my vegetarian friends, or chicken for all but the most robust soups).

So here is a really simple four ingredient pumpkin soup, plus some variations to lift it from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Simplest Pumpkin Soup

 

  • Dice and cook 3 medium brown onions and 4 minced garlic cloves in a little olive oil and butter over a low heat.

  • When soft, add 2kg peeled and chopped chunks of pumpkin. Stir, then add 2L stock.

  • Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Blend the contents of the pan to your required smoothness and season to taste.

  • Serve with a swirl of pouring cream.

  • This makes enough soup for eight serves – enough for a meal for four now and another for the freezer.

The Rules of Blending of Soup

 

Don’t rush -You can’t blend under cooked pumpkin smooth no matter how hard you try. So make sure veg is soft all the way through.

Cool off - Cooling a little before blending makes it safer but also makes for a finer puree.

The right equipment - A standing liquidiser gives a finer puree than using a stick blender, but both will do the job.

Texture - Some like it thick and some like it thin! If your soup blends to thick add more liquid for a runnier soup. This could be more stock, cream, milk or even coconut milk.

Let off some steam - If using a standing liquidiser, remove the central spigot in the lid and cover with a tea towel to let the steam escape. If you don’t do this, you risk soup exploding all over the kitchen. If your using a stick mixer in your pot place a tea towel over the top of the saucepan and around the stick mixer handle to reduce splatter. Getting pumpkin soup of walls is never fun!

Strain for perfection - To get your soup even smoother, or for fine dining quality pass it through a fine rounded sieve.

Cooking It

I like to roast wedges of pumpkin which helps to reduce the moisture content, making it taste richer and sweeter. You can flavour the pumpkin at this point by rubbing it with a spice of choice. Place a couple of halved onions to cook with the pumpkin to either use in the soup or as a garnish. Instead of roasting, you can also simmer in the liquid you will blend in.

Variations

 

Thai Pumpkin Soup

  • To the onions, add 1 tbs minced galangal (or ginger), 1 tbs minced lemongrass, and the cleaned, chopped roots and stalks of a small bunch of coriander.

  • Cook in a little coconut fat or peanut oil. Add shredded lime leaves and 1 tbs grated palm sugar to the onion mix once softened.

  • Cook for a minute before adding the pumpkin.

  • Toss to coat, then add the stock. 

  • After blending, season to taste, stir in a cup of coconut milk and garnish with a squeeze of lime, some sliced red chilli and coriander leaves.

Australian Pumpkin Soup V2

  • A brighter, lighter soup, roast a couple of Granny Smith apples cut into wedges along with your pumpkin and a couple of onions. Then include these with the roast pumpkin when blending your soup with chicken stock.

  • Serve or garnish this with a dollop of creme fraiche, some batons of fresh apple tossed in lemon juice and a couple of sage leaves that have been crisped up in a frypan in (what will become brown) butter and a little nutmeg.

Italian Style Pumpkin Soup

  • Roast 1kg peeled pumpkin chunks with 5 garlic cloves, 2 halved red onions, chopped celery stalks and 5 sprigs thyme and oregano.

  • Discard the thyme & oregano. Squeeze out the garlic and flesh of the onions and puree with the pumpkin and 1L warm vegetable stock.

  • Pass through a sieve, season, warm and serve topped with a dollop of pesto, crispy croutons, fresh basil leaves and crushed toasted nuts.

French Style Pumpkin Soup

  • Roast 1kg peeled pumpkin chunks with 5 garlic cloves, 2 halved red onions and 5 sprigs thyme.

  • Discard the thyme. Squeeze out the garlic and flesh of the onions and puree with the pumpkin and 1L warm vegetable stock.

  • Pass through a sieve, season, warm and serve topped with a dollop of creme fraiche, fresh thyme leaves and crushed toasted hazelnuts.

Canadian Style Pumpkin Soup

  • Flavour the onions with a generous teaspoon of smoked paprika.

  • Cook as usual and then garnish with a combination of bacon, craisins and pepitas that you’ve cooked to a sticky conclusion with maple syrup and a pinch of salt.

Indian Pumpkin Soup

  • Add a couple of teaspoons of good curry powder or curry paste to your onions after they cook.

  • Cook out for a minute or so. Then toss and toast your pumpkin chunks in all this before adding the stock.

  • Continue as usual but stir in a cup of yoghurt at the end of cooking (add a little of the soup to the yoghurt first to help avoid curdling).

  • Serve with an Indian garnish of curry leaves and mustard seeds crisped in hot oil.

Spanish Style Pumpkin Soup

  • Add a couple of fresh bay leaves and the stalks of a small bunch of parsley to the cooking pumpkin. Remove before blending.

  • Garnish with roast red peppers, a pinch of paprika and thin slices of grilled chorizo and toasted almonds.

  • Drizzle good sherry vinegar on top of the soup if you want to contrast against the sweetness of the pumpkin and the peppers.

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