Everyone needs an extraordinary pumpkin soup in their kitchen repertoire. If the idea of peeling and dicing a whole pumpkin is enough to put you off completely, then fear not — my method calls for roasting the entire pumpkin so the flesh stays soft and moist and cuts like a dream. This is a fairly simple recipe and you can easily take it to the next level in terms of flavour. I sometimes add a couple of teaspoons of curry powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it a belly-warming kick. Or, alternatively, omit the cumin, coriander and turmeric and instead flavour the pumpkin with Asian aromatics such as ginger, lemongrass, coriander and fresh chilli.
Makes: 6 serves
Takes: 10 minutes to prepare; 1 hour to cook
1 large pumpkin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 litre chicken stock
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
200ml coconut cream
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 orange
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons natural yoghurt
finely chopped fresh chives to serve
Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C. Put the whole pumpkin on a roasting pan and cook for 40–50 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cool enough to handle, gently remove the skin of the pumpkin — it should fall off. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Roughly chop the cooked flesh.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 2–3 minutes until soft. Add the stock, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the coconut cream. Add the lemon and orange juice and zest. Blitz with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Add a splash of water if the soup is too thick, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a generous sprinkling of chives.
Tip: Make it paleo / vegan omit the yoghurt when serving.