Wordly Wednesday – Quick & Easy Pumpkin Soup (with bonus salad & roasted pepitas!)

I love pumpkin soup, and it’s great for the kids too – it doesn’t look or taste offensive and it’s got veggies! This one I adapted from a recipe of my Mum’s – well I know it’s similar to hers but I can’t find it, so I made this one up, along the same lines but with my own tweaks. The recipe made two big adult sized bowls two small toddler bowls. I would say it would make 4 small-medium sized adult bowls if you served with a side. It freezes well, so if it makes too much for your needs, feel free to freeze it.

Easy as Pumpkin-Pie Soup…

1 butternut pumpkin (I purchased a whole pumpkin the other week and only used a little and still hadn’t used it. I didn’t weigh it til after I chopped it up, and it was just shy of a kg then, so just over a kg whole would do the trick. Oh and a tip – buy the cut halves people – I took the skin off a knuckle cutting it in half!!)

500ml chicken stock (I use salt reduced so I can control the seasoning)

1 potato (medium/large)

1 medium brown onion (also delicious with leeks – try the white of 2 leeks) finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2 sprigs of thyme (leaves only)

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (Mum puts in a dash of Nutmeg instead if I remember rightly, so wherever your preference lies)

Cracked pepper and salt to taste

1 TB Olive oil

Firstly chop all the pumpkin into smallish chunks (I roughly peel it first, I’m not too fussy if some stays on – there are most of the nutrients in the skin and it gets blended anyway). Peel and chop the potato into slightly bigger chunks.

Pop half into a microwave safe container and pop in a big splash of water and cover with a vented lid or cling wrap.

Chopped pumpkin

Microwave until a fork goes through easily with very little give. (Around 7 minutes in our 1100watt microwave on the fresh vegetables setting). Scoop out with a slotted spoon and repeat with the remaining pumpkin & potato.

While the second lot is cooking chop your onion and either finely chop or crush your garlic (keep all your veggie scraps for now)…

Veggie bits

Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan over a medium heat and sautée your onion and garlic until translucent. Add the cumin, thyme leaves, pumpkin and potato mixture and its cooking water and cook off for a minute, then add your 500 ml of chicken stock, leaves from the thyme sprigs and stir. Season with salt & pepper. Cook together for 5 minutes. Then allow to cool off for a bit. (I forgot to take a photo at this point, but this is what it looks like at this point – minus half that was already in the blender)

Ready to blend

Pop half in a blender and whiz (be careful if your mixture is too hot it can explode out of the blender – been there done that, very messy unless you like orange walls). If its a bit stodgy add some stock, or cream if you are feeling decadent,  (I used stock) until you reach your desired consistency for the soup. Add the rest of the mix from the saucepan (you may need to pour some of the whizzed mix out to make room).

And there you have it – velvety, easy pumpkin soup, just like Mumma makes! Garnish with thyme sprigs – and follow the recipe below for some roasted pepitas to pop on top too.

Pumpkin soup and rye sourdough loaf with roasted pepitasNow, to be extra resourceful, waste not, want not and all that guff – separate your pumpkin seeds from the rest of the veggie scraps. Feed your scraps to the chooks or pop in your compost bin if you are lucky enough to have either (no chooks for us yet, so into the compost bin it goes).

Pretty tasty Pepitas!

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.

Pop your pumpkin seeds in a colander and rinse. Pull out any stray bits of pumpkin flesh.

Washing the pumpkin seeds

Allow to dry overnight, or at least for a few hours. This will allow for super crunchy pepitas. (I was too impatient, so blotted them on a tea towel. I do suggest letting them dry properly though as the tea towel didn’t help much.  But they still tasted awesome at the end).

Line a baking tray with baking paper and pop your seeds on. Try and keep them in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, crack a little black pepper and sea salt over and sprinkle with cumin. Give it all a shake around to coat (I actually reserved a few cubes of the pumpkin when I was chopping it for the soup. So I popped this on the baking tray along with the pumpkin seeds, to chuck into a salad for me to take to work for dinner.)

Pumpkin and pepitas for roasting

Pop in the oven and bake until the pumpkin is nicely baked (around 20-25) minutes – was hard for me to tell as our power was turned off in the middle of cooking, we were having solar panels installed… Remove from oven and eat lots! So moreish!

Pumpkin, spinach feta and pepita salad

Just as it says! I was just making a single serving for dinner so used a quarter of a bag of baby spinach leaves

Feta, chopped into cubes

Roast pumpkin cubes

Sprinkle with pepitas

Season with freshly cracked pepper

Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil

It would be a super yummy side for your soup! I had also made some sourdough rye bread (Lauke pre-mix) and sprinkled it with the pepitas after the last prove. What a pumpkin feast!

Baby spinach, pumpkin, feta and pepita salad

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