This is a fairly basic pumpkin soup recipe which you can make your own by including other vegetables and ingredients. I make it a little differently each time and have mentioned a few ideas after the recipe. Lately I have been using two or three types of pumpkin to add depth and complexity to the taste.
Roasting the pumpkin really adds flavour to the soup. I usually peel the pumpkin first, but you can leave the skin on and scoop out the flesh after it’s cooked.
My pumpkin soup is finished with a few drops of delicious pumpkin seed oil. If you haven’t tried this before I am sure you will like it.
Pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seed oil is extracted from the seeds of a special type of pumpkin that originally comes from the Styrian region of Austria and Slovenia. The dark green oil has an intense nutty flavour, is very nutritious and has many culinary uses. The Styrian pumpkins are now being grown in Australia and the oil produced here. Check out the website for more information, products and recipes.
Try a little pumpkin seed oil drizzled on soups, boiled potatoes, steamed green beans or grilled mushrooms. The oil is also beautiful in salad dressings, especially when paired with apple cider vinegar. I often make a simple salad with mixed beans, red pepper and onion. The recipe for Gabi’s mixed bean salad is posted here for you.
Pumpkin seed oil is strong-tasting so use it sparingly; try half a teaspoon in a bowl of soup at first. It is a special ingredient so keep it in the fridge after opening and remember to use it.
Photography by Andrew Taylor
- 1.2 kg butternut or other pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks (1kg)
- 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large brown onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 stick of celery, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 3-4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg or pinch of ground cloves
- 1/3 cup cream (optional)
- 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
- 3 tsp pumpkin seed oil (optional)
- 1 small bunch of chives, cut, or flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C fan or 200C regular. Rub the chunks of pumpkin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until cooked and tinged with brown. Turn them after 20 minutes. Alternatively, if you don’t want to use the oven, the pumpkin can be cooked with the onion, carrot and celery in the stock.
- Meanwhile heat a large saucepan with the olive oil and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and cook gently until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Tip in three cups of the vegetable stock or water at first and bring to the boil. Simmer, partly covered, for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the roasted pumpkin to the saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and thyme branches and puree the soup with a blender. Add more stock or water if needed to make the soup the consistency you like. Stir in the grated nutmeg or ground cloves and the cream, if using. Taste and adjust the seasoning and add a little sugar if you like.
- Serve the soup in bowls with a trickle of pumpkin seed oil and sprinkle of cut chives or chopped parsley. I like to have the soup with toasted sour-dough drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.
Variations: I make pumpkin soup a little differently each time by adding another vegetable like leek, kumara, potato or zucchini. A granny smith apple is very good too. Try adding a teaspoon of curry powder at the beginning to fry with the vegetables. I often replace a cup of the stock with milk added later for a creamy soup and then serve it with grated parmesan cheese rather than pumpkin seed oil.