Pumpkin spice isn’t just for lattes! Check out this recipe for a sweet but savoury Spiced Pumpkin Soup, perfect for the cold autumn months.
In the last few days there has been a real change in our little corner of the London suburbs. The leaves in the trees have turned the most glorious golden brown, the days are getting colder and the nights are getting darker. Autumn is well and truly here.
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get warm as the evenings draw in is to snuggle up with a big bowl of soup. Jon and I will often make a big batch of soup to keep in the fridge and warm up on those cold, dark nights when we can’t bring ourselves to cook. It’s quick, easy, comfort food that never disappoints. Today I’m sharing a seasonal soup that is guaranteed to warm your heart.
The humble pumpkin
Most people’s first memory of the pumpkin is as a jack-o-lantern or as, well call it in the UK, a pumpkin… That’s right. We don’t have any cutesy names for it because for most people across Britain the only time we come across a pumpkin is when it has been carved and placed in a window on 31 October.
Unfortunately the humble pumpkin often finds itself chucked in the bin once Halloween is over. But what a lot of people don’t know is that they are actually edible! Once roasted, they have a love sweet taste and velvety smooth texture making them perfect for blitzing into soup.
Whilst pumpkins originate from North America that’s not to say they can’t be grown in the UK too. Pumpkin patches are popping up all over the UK, just like the one we visited last October at Crockford Bridge Farm just west of London.
Even though carving pumpkins can be eaten, when it comes to the edible varieties of pumpkin we’re much more familiar with the butternut squash. This recipe works just as well with any squash you can get your hands on!
Pumpkin spice mix
Because pumpkin is quite sweet, it lends itself well to cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, three spices often found in sweet dishes and winter-y puddings. I’ve taken those two flavours but added a savoury note with salt, pepper, garlic, red chilli and a pinch of cumin and coriander. This combination of spices has plenty of heat from the pepper, ginger and chilli but is balanced out with the mellow hum of the garlic and cumin. The coriander helps to cut through all of the deep, rich flavours with slightly sharp edge.
Give it a whirl
Once you’ve roasted the pumpkin alongside a little sweet potato for starch, it gets whizzed up in a blender along with onion, the pumpkin spice mix and vegetable stock. As the liquid swirls together in the blender,it goes the most vivid orange colour. the colour of autumn. Creamy creme fraiche is stirred in at the last minute which lightens the colour but adds a luxurious rich texture to the soup.
A hot bowl of this soup is so tempting. As the steam rises you get all of the fantastic aromas of the pumpkin spice mix. It’s a heady combination that will win anyone over.
- 1 medium pumpkin / large butternut squash
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1 red chilli
- 1 heaped tbsp minced ginger
- 1.5 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 level tbsp cinnamon
- 1 level tbsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp creme fraiche
- Peel the pumpkin and sweet potato and cut into pieces 1 inch cubed.
- Roast in an oven dish with a little oil at 180C for 1 hour or until soft with caramelised edges. Once cooked place to one side.
- In a large sauce pan, fry the red onion (diced) and the red chilli (sliced).
- Once the onion and chilli has softened add in the ginger, garlic and dried spices. Fry off for a further 5 minutes.
- Place the pumpkin and sweet potato into a blender along with the red onion, chilli and other spices.
- Fill the blender with the vegetable stock and blitz the contents on high for 5 minutes or until smooth.
- Transfer the liquid into the sauce pan and heat on low for five minutes or until the soup begins to bubble.
- Immediately before serving stir through the creme fraiche.
Get crafty this autumn
Keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks for a fun craft project that will brighten up your home this autumn. In the meantime, why not check out my tutorial for making an autumn wreath. Just click the picture below.