For today’s ‘surviving the festive season’ post I’m sharing with you my go-to winter soup recipe which comes on so handy when you need something healthy, filling and easy during this crazy time of year.
I make batches of this soup and freeze them so that if unexpected guests arrive you’ve always got something healthy to serve them. Or if you come home after a long day of work or festive shopping you can simply heat this up and in under 5 minutes you’ve got something hot and nutritious to eat.
I like to serve this with some crusty bread on the side and a dollop of yoghurt or a sprinkle of blue cheese dressing (a spoonful of plain yoghurt or sour cream whisked with a small chunk of blue cheese until it forms a runny dressing) in the middle. If you’re feeling fancy you can roast the pumpkin seeds and also sprinkle those on top for extra crunch, although this isn’t a necessity more of a nice add-on.
I hope you love this versatile recipe as much as I do.
Simple roast pumpkin soup
1 small pumpkin (seeds removed and reserved for roasting*, cut into 2cm chunks) – n.b I don’t bother to peel my pumpkin but you can if you prefer to
2 small or 1 large carrot – again, I don’t bother to peel as I buy organic but make sure you top and tail them to remove the hard ends
1 stick celery or bunch celery tops
2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
1 brown onion roughly chopped
3cm knob ginger – grated & juice squeezed out (I place the ginger in some kitchen paper and squeeze the juice through before composting the pulp)
800ml-1litre vegetable stock (depending on how thick you like your soup)
A shake of chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan assisted
2. Add the pumpkin to a roasting tray and drizzle over some olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) before roasting for up to an hour (check regularly to ensure the pumpkin is cooking evenly, turn it in the pan if you need to)
3. Meanwhile on the hob fry off the onion, celery & carrot (although you can also roast the carrot for a deeper flavour if you prefer)
4. After 5 minutes add in the garlic
5. Fry until the mixture is soft but not brown (around another 5 minutes)
6. Make up the vegetable stock (I use organic Bouillon powder but any good quality cube will work)
7. When the pumpkin is cooked add it to the pan with the stock and spices
8. Cook for about 15 minutes until the carrot is soft (I use the carrot as the measurement as it takes the longest to cook out of the onion and celery)
9. When everything is soft whiz together in a blender or use a stick blender in the pan. If you’re using a blender be careful as the steam from the mixture can blow the lid off and burn you. I tend to do this step in small batches which helps prevent any blender explosions.
10. When everything is smooth, return to the pan. Taste & season if necessary.
11. Optional step: for an extra smooth soup you can pass the mixture through a fine sieve. Don’t feel like you have to though, it’s entirely up to you.
And that’s it. You can even roast the pumpkin separately (up to 4 days in advance if you keep it in the fridge) and add in at step 7; just make sure if you do this you give the pumpkin enough time to heat through.
*The pumpkin seeds that were reserved can be cleaned and roasted. Clean off the stringy pulp. Scatter them on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil before tossing them to mix. Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 200°C (180°C fan assisted) Make sure to check these regularly so they don’t burn and you may need to turn them once or twice to ensure they brown evenly. I like sprinkle mine with chilli powder and garam masala afterwards but they will suit most spices or even plain salt and pepper is delicious.
And that’s my simple pumpkin soup recipe. It’s nothing fancy but it it is a festive time saver for when you need something full of flavour and versatile. This would even make a lovely starter before Christmas dinner if you didn’t want something too heavy (and it freezes beautifully should you have any leftovers).
Thank you for reading. I hope you’ll join me on Sunday for a special Christmas Eve post. And if you have any go to festive recipes you’d like to share pop them in the comments below.