Can you believe we're already half-way through October and it's less than three weeks until Hallowe'en?! My boys are SO excited about All Hallows' Eve and love to dress up and have a pumpkin tea party before trick or treating through our local streets. Although the idea of knocking on strangers' doors asking them for sweets is slightly incongruous to the values we instil in them for the other 364 days a year, it's a real social event locally where the shops and local businesses line the streets with games and treats for the kids and we trick or treat en masse. The supermarkets are already lining their shelves with pumpkins in anticipation of the big event and our local whole food store is selling the most amazing array of squashes and pumpkins in beautiful autumnal colours.
This got me thinking about a really delicious soup that one of my friends made for a party last Christmas. She used Hokkaido pumpkins and these were one of the varieties at our local shop so I decided to buy a couple to make soup for us. We love eating soup for dinner and often have it a few times a week. It's great for packing in veggies and as the nights are drawing in, it's so comforting to have a big steaming bowl of soup for dinner.
This soup is simple to make but it's made that little bit more special with roasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin oil which I also found at the whole food store. I've never had roasted pumpkin seeds before but they are actually really delicious and great as a tasty snack on their own. Preparing them was the most involved part of making this soup as they had to be cleaned and the innards of my pumpkins stuck to them! I ended up washing them in a sieve to remove the initial pumpkin flesh and then popped them on a paper towel and wiped them with another paper towel. Before baking, I drizzled them with olive oil and chilli flakes which made them quite spicy so you can add as much or little as you want here.
This is a simple but totally homely meal that's perfect for weeknights, a weekend lunch or starter for a dinner party. You'll know by now that I love all things pumpkin and autumn is one of my favourite times of the year because I get to use lovely ingredients like this. It's so simple but at the same time a really hearty dish and perfect for snuggling up with the family!
pumpkin soup with pumpkin oil & roasted pumpkin seeds
serves 2 generously
- 1 SMALL HOKKAIDO PUMPKIN
- 1 ONION
- 100ML SINGLE CREAM
- 1 TBSP SOUR CREAM
- 1 VEGETABLE STOCK CUBE
- OLIVE OIL (for frying onion and drizzling over the pumpkin seeds)
- CHILLI FLAKES (optional)
- PUMPKIN OIL (optional, for serving)
- Peel and chop up your pumpkin into small pieces, reserving the pumpkin seeds
- Chop the onion and fry it in a little olive oil until softened
- Add the pumpkin to the onion and pour in water until the vegetables are just covered
- Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the pumpkin is tender
- Add the stock cube, cream and sour cream and then blitz with a handheld blender until the consistency is smooth
- You can adjust the consistency here by adding a little more water is you prefer a thinner soup
- Meanwhile, prepare your pumpkin seeds
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (fan)
- Wash and dry the pumpkin seeds and place them on a baking tray
- Drizzle them with oil and make sure they're well coated
- Sprinkle them chilli flakes if you like things a little spicier!
- Roast for 10 minutes until they golden brown - keep an eye on them as you don't want them to burn
- Remove them from the oven and allow to cool - you can store them in a polythene bag but they will soften over time so you can give them a quick re-roast in the oven for a few minutes to crisp them up if this happens
- Serve your soup in large bowl with a sprinkling of roasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin oil - if you don't have this oil, you could always decorate your bowls with some swirls of sour cream
- And enjoy :)