The soup series: Roast pumpkin & leek

Pumpkin soup is a classic. Phil says it tastes like Christmas (because he grew up in the Northern Hemisphere where pumpkin season and Halloween are quickly followed by Christmas) and so it remains a firm favourite in our house. 

Now, so many people add cream to pumpkin soup which, while indulgent, makes it naughty when in reality you don’t need to make it naughty. Because if done right, it’s fantastic all by itself. Also, dependent on whether you use chicken or vegetable stock, this can easily be a vegetarian, gluten free and even vegan soup.

I for one, am trying to lower the amount of meat I eat in a week, so having this for lunch at work has worked out well for me. I simply freeze my soup in lunch portions, and each morning I grab a frozen soup pot from the freezer and pop it in my cute lunch tote that my sisters bought me for my birthday and then heat it up at work. So simple.

You need (for 4 servings):

  • 1/4 of a pumpkin
  • olive oil
  • dried herbs (whatever’s in your cupboard. I used Italian herbs)
  • 1 leek
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • chicken/vegetable stock, 1 litre
  • fresh parsley, 1 bunch
  • salt and pepper to taste

Action:

  1. Chop your pumpkin into segments (leaving the skin on, it’s so good for you and you wont taste it once it’s all done!) and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs of your choice then pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden brown and soft through.
  2. Add a splash olive oil to a large saucepan or soup pot and add the chopped onion, leek and garlic. Sautee until the vegetables are cooked through.
  3. Pour in your stock and add the chopped parsley stalks and half the leaves, allow it to simmer on low and let the flavours infuse while the pumpkin roasts.
  4. Once the pumpkin is golden, add the pieces to the soup pot and let it simmer for 10 minutes. This helps to get all the stock flavours soaking into the pumpkin (skin included) pieces.
  5. Take your soup pot off the heat and transfer the contents in batches to a blender, or better yet buy yourself a stick blender – magic! Blitz your soup leaving the odd chunky bit. Add the rest of your chopped parsley leaves and taste the soup to see if you need any more salt and pepper. Voila!

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