Hi, It’s Mel. I find there a few things more comforting than soup. One of my favourite soups would have to be Pumpkin Soup. I could eat bowl after bowl of it and not get tired of it. There is very little that could be better than home-made pumpkin soup. As my sister is not a fan of Pumpkins I decided to make a batch and freeze it. I work casual hours so often find myself working at night. I know future Mel will appreciate past Mel’s effort to supply a hearty meal.
The recipe I used was one Alex shared with me in 2006. I decided to experiment a bit with it. Rather than just using onion as a base, I also used half a fennel. This may sound quite strange, and I should explain I am obsessed with fennel. I love eating it raw. Last year was a disappointing season for Fennel and I am trying to make up for it now.
Once I had softened the onion and the fennel with the butter which took about 10 minutes, I added the stock and a little extra water and brought that to the boil. I prefer to use Vegetable stock but it doesn’t matter what stock is used, as the recipe calls for Chicken Stock. .Once the liquid had boiled I added diced pumpkin. Feeling I had not brought enough pumpkin, I decided to also add a sweet potato.
The mixture then simmers. If making it in a rush, it takes about half an hour. I personally believe soup is best when slow cooked for at least an hour. I had it on a low heat for about 90 minutes. The pumpkin and potato break down into this lovely gooey substance.
The soup then needs to be purred. A bar-mix can be used, as can sieve. Not wanting to destroy the non-stick pan I transferred the mixture into a blender.
At this point I added the warmed milk, and the salt and pepper to taste. I also decided to add some freshly grated nutmeg.
I let the soup cool before transferring it to containers to be frozen. The soup was simple to make and is delicious.
It would be quite simple to omit all animal products for this recipe. Oil could be used in lieu of butter, and the milk simply thins the mixture and could be replaced with soy or omitted completely.
Alex’s Pumpkin Soup (Cooked by Mel)
Cooking time: 1 hour
60g/2 ounces of butter
600ml Chicken stock or water
I chicken stock cube
I large white onion, finely chopped
500g/I pound of pumpkin
600ml hot milk
salt and pepper
chopped parsley, for garnish
Croutons to serve
1) Melt one ounce (30gm) of butter in a large saucepan and gently fry onion
for 10 minutes or until onion is soft.
2) Add chicken stock or water and bring to the boil.
3) Peel pumpkin and cut into 2-inch chunks, add to stock and simmer until
tender (about 30 minutes)
4) Cool and rub through a sieve or simply puree with barmix stick in pot.
5) Return to pan (if required), add hot milk, allspice and salt and pepper
6) Serve in tureen with one ounce (30gm) melted butter stirred in at last
minute and lightly sprinkled with chopped parsley.