Autumn is a season of abundance, especially for all the hearty vegetables such as pumpkins, squashes and parsnips. As the weather progressively gets colder and daylight gets shorter, there is nothing more comforting than sitting on a sofa at the corner of your living room with a warm bowl of soup while watching your favourite film on Netflix. So here’s a simple yet hearty pumpkin soup with a little crunch to help make this happen!
- ½ of a small pumpkin
- 1–2 clove(s) of garlic
- 1 small onion or ½ a big onion (sliced)
- A couple of sprigs of thyme
- 1 vegetable cube (if you don’t have this, water is fine)
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 50g of butter
- Salt and pepper (for seasoning)
- Chilli flakes (to taste)
- Half a whole pumpkin and remove the seeds (so you are left with an empty cavity) and leave the skin on
- Add thyme and garlic into the cavity and then brush the surface with some vegetable oil (to prevent the ingredients from burning – I’ve used an oil spray recycled and cleaned from previous cooking which I think is a great way of distributing and using less oil)
- Place the stuffed pumpkin on a baking tray and bake for approx. 45–60 minutes until it’s tender and easy to scoop out
- Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin and peel the skin off the garlic cloves for the soup
Now for the soup:
- Prepare a saucepan and melt the butter
- Sauté the sliced onions for approx. 5 – 10 minutes until translucent (I have an electric hob) and in the meantime boil 300ml of water in the kettle
- Sauté the scooped pumpkin and garlic for approx. 2 minutes
- Pour boiling water into the pan and add the stock cube
- Let this boil for a further 10 minutes and then season with salt and pepper to taste
- Pour the soup into a blender (or use a hand blender), blitz it until smooth and sprinkle some chilli flakes on top (optional)
If you have time, here’s an easy yet tasty alternative to croutons on adding some crunch to your soup with no oil involved!
- A handful of parsnips (depending on how much you want to make)
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the parsnips into thin ribbons
- Line a baking tray with baking paper (a must to prevent them from sticking—trust me, I’ve tried without!) and generously scatter the parsnips on the baking paper
- Bake them with a fan oven of 100C or 120 C (with no fan) for approx. 30–60 minutes (depending on how crunchy you want them to be)
- Either add them to the pumpkin soup or enjoy them on their own
There you have it, a hearty soup with a bit of crunch!
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