We had a terribly stormy day here on the West Coast the other day, of Winnie the Pooh proportions. (If you know your Winnie, you’ll know what I mean.)
Anyway. It was the kind of day that called for a simmering stock to warm the kitchen and a sturdy bowl of soup to warm the soul.
Jeff had just brought in the sugar pumpkins from the vines in the front yard, making Pumpkin Soup the obvious flavour du jour. Turns out Jeff spent the day working outside in the ugliness, so I got extra bonus points for preparing such a warm and cozy meal. Nice one.
Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Soup
This recipe works with any roasted squash. Each will produce a different, but equally delicious result. I used a sugar pumpkin, typically used in Pumpkin Pie.
Don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting! Nom nom!
If you use vegetable stock, this recipe is vegan.
- One squash (pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash, buttercup squash…)
- 4 – 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup roughly chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped celery
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- a good handful of fresh sage, roughly chopped
- 1 head of garlic, roasted
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- maple syrup to taste (depending on the sweetness of your squash)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried chillies
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp whole cardamom
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- salt & pepper to taste
If you are making your own stock, add the cloves and allspice as you simmer your stock to infuse the flavour. If not, make up a nice little sachet with cheesecloth and toss all your cloves, allspice, cardamom and coriander in there while you simmer your soup.
Set your oven to 350. Cut your squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place it cut size down on a baking sheet.
Slice the top off your garlic to expose the cloves, place it on a sheet of tinfoil, drizzle with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and wrap tightly. Place on the same baking sheet as your squash. (Always a good idea to roast more garlic than you need. It’s a great thing to have in the fridge for salad dressings or just to smooth on toasted bread. Delicious.)
Bake 30-60 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your squash. Remove from oven when a knife slides easily into the flesh. Your garlic will be done about after about 35-40 minutes.
While you cook your squash, prepare the rest of your soup. Chop your veg and saute it in a soup pot with the olive oil, fresh garlic and dried chillies. Once onions are transparent, add the sage, bay leaf cinnamon and curry and saute another minute or more.
Once squash is cooked and cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into your soup pot and squeeze in the roasted garlic.
Add enough stock to cover. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes to let the flavours mingle.
Remove the bay leaf and puree your soup with an immersion blender. Or if you prefer a chunky soup you can simply mash it with your spoon or potato masher. Stir in the maple syrup.
Taste (carefully!) and adjust your seasonings.
One secret to really good soup (and cooking in general) is to be sure to use enough salt. I know we’re all worried about sodium these days, but if you don’t eat processed crap you won’t feel bad about properly seasoning your food. My rule of thumb – add as much salt as I think it needs, and then add some more. If it tastes flat or boring, it probably needs salt.
That’s it! Serve with fried sage leaves, toasted pumpkin seeds or a swirl of sour cream and a wodge of crusty bread.