Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nice pumpkin soup

Is there a need for nailing a pumpkin soup that gets the family thumbs-up when you live in Holland? Where pumpkins are on loan from the United States and only seen as decoration? Not the carved kind, not yet, we haven't fully embraced Halloween here but pumpkins are inching their way into windowsills, out at the front door or amiably dressing the deserted garden furniture.

Once or twice a season I buy pumpkin just to try. I made pumpkin pie (family: meh why bother?) soup (equally dismissed as too earthy, could be nice but it's just bland). Stubbornly I tried again, bought another one. Not sure if it was the variety, the fact that it was organic or the recipe but this pot of soup was emptied in no time. Everyone liked it! I was as surprised as you are. Now to remember what I did....

First of all the variety; a deep orange, smallish, organic one, found at Lidl €1,99. I saw it advertised as a Japanese kind a hokkaido?

Second: I peeled -using a vegetable peeler-, cubed, sprinkled with olive oil, cumin, flecks of dried ancho chillies, roasted in the oven. Lovely fragrant smells emanating from the oven! (Note to self:...use it as side dish?)

lime juice!!
salt and pepper

1 hokkaido pumpkin, peeled, cubed
1 tbs cumin (less of the ground variety, 1 tbs of whole cumin seeds)
sprinkle of dried ancho chili flakes

Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Toss pumpkin cubes with olive oil, cumin and chili flakes in a roasting pan and roast for about 45 minutes or until nice and tender.

1 tbs olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1.1/2 - 2 liter vegetable broth
2 large potatoes, peeled, cubed

squeeze of lime juice
1 tbs toasted sesame seeds

Heat olive oil in a large pot and softly saute/sweat garlic, onion and carrot, covered until soft and fragrant. Add the roasted pumpkin and the potatoes, toss and saute for a couple of minutes more. Add broth and bring to a soft boil to get the vegetables soft and tender approx. 15 minutes. Puree using a vegetable mill or a hand held blender and taste to add pepper and salt if needed, squeeze in some lime juice.
To serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and some nice artisan bread.

Happy Halloween!

Another pumpkin soup using mustard, cinnamon and creme fraiche


  1. I still need to get my fix of pumpkin this year. The store where I normally get my nice small sweet ones went out of business!

  2. Yep - that's the RIGHT kind of pumpkin: a Japanese pumpkin, better known as a Kabocha Squash. Totally full of flavor, and awesome for making pies.

    If you're really searching for a soup pumpkin, you'll want to get hold of a French pumpkin: Rouge vif d'Etamps (my spelling is probably horrible, there). It's better known as the "Cinderella" pumpkin, because of its dark red skin, and its deep lobes. Very few strings, and wonderful for soup.

    I think I'd be inclined to add a bit of curry powder, and maybe some cayenne pepper, to your soup - just to make it lively.

  3. Ah! thanks David! I get so confused with the names, they never ever mention any names of varieties here in the shops/markets.
    You're right about the bit of heat there, I added ancho chili flakes.

  4. Klinkt goed, Karen. 'k Ben de laatste tijd een beetje aan het experimenteren met pompoenen en dit lijkt me een lekker soeppie. Bedankt voor het recept.

  5. Ha ha lijken die figuren hier wel. Maar ja pompoen is ook wat 'bland'. Dus wat pit erin (en geen pitten natuurlijk haha) is een prima idee. Ik gebruik alleen die kleine biologische nog. Wat je verder in NL kan krijgen is niet veel soeps (haha weer zo'n goeie).
    Misschien nog een tip; ik schil hem niet, maar hak hem in stukken en gaat zo de oven in om te roosteren, later schep je het vlees er zo van af. Maar ja... ik ben een beetje lui als ik de kans krijg...


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