Hampshire based food writer and blogger, Tim McMinn shares his own recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Soup. Inspired by Keith Floyd’s words ‘to experience Thai food, don’t go to a Thai restaurant, buy yourself a plane ticket and go to Thailand’ Tim has visited 81 countries in pursuit of food. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @culinarychatter and read his posts at culinarychatter.com.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
1 pumpkin approx 1.5kgs
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
1 pint of chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of Hampshire rapeseed oil
2 knobs of butter
5 sprigs of parsley
Salt & pepper
Pumpkin/olive oil for garnish
1. Using a heavy knife chop your pumpkin in about 8 pieces. Using a spoon, scrape away the membrane and pumpkin seeds and put to one side. Place the pieces of pumpkin along with the garlic cloves into a roasting tray and put into a preheated oven at 180°C or the equivalent. After approximately 30 minutes, check to see how your pumpkin is roasting. You should be able to easily pierce the flesh with a knife without any resistance. However, I have once had a pumpkin that took 45 minutes. It really depends on your pumpkin. The garlic cloves should only take about 20-30 minutes to soften, so make sure you remove them if your pumpkin needs longer, as you do not want the garlic to burn and go bitter.
2. Separate the pumpkin seeds and discard the membrane. Place the seeds into a sieve and rinse them under cold running water until they are clean. Place some parchment paper onto a baking tray and scatter the seeds thinly across the tray.
3. Place the tray on the lowest shelf of your oven to gently roast for 45 minutes. You will need to move them around every so often to help remove the moisture and also so they don’t burn. The outer husks will slowly turn to a golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let them cool down before you remove the husk.
4. Put the oil and butter into a large saucepan and place onto a low heat. Roughly chop the onion and parsley stalks and add to the saucepan, along with a bit of salt and pepper to season. Put the lid on and let it all sweat down, until the onions go soft and translucent.
5. Take the roasted pumpkins and place into the saucepan with the onions. You can remove the skin from the pumpkin flesh if you want to, but it is not necessary as is has been soften down in the roasting process. Add the roasted garlic cloves, chicken/vegetable stock and season with salt and a good grind of pepper. Still on a low heat, gently simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Using a hand blender, blitz it all together until smooth. To garnish the soup, swirl on some Pumpkin or Olive Oil (you could even use cream or crème fraiche) along with some chopped parsley leaves and the pumpkins seeds. Serve immediately.