I was tempted to head this with ‘miracle soup’ or perhaps ‘easiest pumpkin soup evah’, but decided to just stick to the basics – just like this soup really! It is probably the most delicious, and luxuriously velvety, pumpkin soup I’ve made, and that’s without adding cream or butter of any description. The soup itself is vegan, though obviously not if you serve with cream!
It has a grand total of four ingredients (five if you add the rosemary or other herb), and takes a maximum of 10 minutes of hands on time. It takes a bit of time to cook, but I just roasted this in the top of the oven while cooking another meal, and then put it aside to pulverise after dinner.
As you can probably see, the basic technique is roasting a halved butternut pumpkin (squash) with onion, garlic and olive oil. I also added a couple of sprigs of rosemary, but you could substitute this with sage, or leave out the herbs and add nutmeg or parsley at the end. The bit I love is that you don’t peel the pumpkin. I repeat, there is no peeling involved!
The pumpkin is roasted with the skin on, each half stuffed with unpeeled garlic cloves. I peeled the onion, but thinking about it you could roast that as halves with the skin on too. Once all the vegetables are thoroughly cooked, and well browned, the entire contents of the tray, minus the garlic skins and herb stalks, is blitzed in the blender with enough water to thin to pouring texture. That’s it!
Roasted pumpkin soup
- 1 butternut pumpkin (squash)
- 1 large onion
- 1 head garlic
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200C. Wash the pumpkin to remove any dirt from the skin. Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Peel the onion and slice into quarters (or simply slice in half unpeeled). Cut the head of garlic horizontally through the centre, leaving skins intact.
Put the two halves of the garlic head into the hollows of the pumpkin, and place, cut side down, in a large baking dish on top of the herb sprigs (if using) – see images above. Add the onion to the pan, drizzle over the oil, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Roast for about 45 minutes (I have to confess I didn’t record the exact time as I was cooking a couple of things at once), but until the pumpkin is very browned as pictured above, and soft enough to give way when you press it.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Squeeze the garlic from its skins, peel off onion skins if you left on, and break the rosemary needles (if using) from the stalks. Tear the pumpkin roughly into pieces.
Tip the whole tray into a large blender, then deglaze the pan with 250 ml of boiling water and add that to the blender. Don’t be afraid to scrape well to get all the caramelised bits from the bottom when deglazing. Blend for about one minute, until completely smooth, adding a bit more water if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste, and nutmeg if desired.
Serve with bread or rolls and butter, and a dollop of sour cream if you have it, though it’s perfectly delicious without.
Makes approximately four serves