Roasted pumpkin soup recipe
- 2 medium - or 1 large - pumpkins
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 1 orange, zest & juice
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- Dollop crème fraîche
- Fresh thyme
- Roasted pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top
Pumpkins serve as more than just a creative prop for Hallowe’en – they are also hotbeds of goodness and well worth incorporating into your diet as the days get chillier. Rich in beta-carotene and a good source of vitamin A, this immune-boosting super-vegetable can help maintain healthy skin, teeth, bones, as well as lowering blood pressure. Pumpkins also promote the production of serotonin – that feel-good chemical that helps us to relax and unwind, making this roasted pumpkin soup recipe perfect for colder evenings when a bowl of soup is just what you need!
- Cut the top off the top of the pumpkin and cut in half for ease of removing seeds. Scoop out the seeds and place to one side in a bowl. Cut up the pumpkin into small chunks and place on a baking tray with the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Drizzle with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Season well with salt and pepper. Pop the tray into the oven at 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5 for around 25 minutes, until soft, golden and caramelised. Leave to cool slightly so that you can peel off the skins with your hands – they should come off pretty easily leaving the flesh behind.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin seeds. Rinse the seeds under cold water in a sieve, then place in a bowl of water to remove the pulp with your hands. Boil in water, adding 1 tsp of salt, for approx. 10 minutes over a low-medium heat. Drain in a colander and pat dry with a tea towel. Arrange on a baking tray and massage extra virgin olive oil into the seeds. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper, and anything else you fancy (Cajun, mixed herbs… experiment with different flavours!). Place in the oven for approx. 10 minutes, then remove, shake around, before roasting for a further 5 minutes until the seeds are golden.
- Heat up 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil/coconut oil in a deep pan and sauté the red onion until it softens. Add in the squeezed orange juice and zest to the onion, followed by the stock, roasted pumpkin and garlic. Let it simmer for around 10 minutes. Using a hand blender, whizz it all up (or alternatively transfer it in batches into blender).
- Serve with a swirl of crème fraîche, sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves and roasted pumpkin seeds. This soup is also great for batch cooking and freezing, or freezing in ice cube trays for babies. I love serving it up in a hollowed out pumpkin for a bit of extra wow factor.
- Pumpkin seeds are little morsels of goodness – high in protein and antioxidants
- They have uniquely high levels of zinc to strengthen our immune system and help balance blood sugar levels
- They also contain large amounts of manganese, crucial for bones and thyroid function, and linked to warding off prostate problems