Soup is so warming and comforting at this time of year. I am especially fond of winter and root vegetable soups whose natural sweetness always cheer the soul on a cold day. So, when I was recently given a pumpkin as a present I knew instantly that it was time to make some soup.
Pumpkins and squashes are quite unique in that despite them being tough and often frustratingly hard when raw, once cooked they transform into soft and tender flesh that almost seems to melt like butter, adding a lovely creaminess to soups. For this soup I decided to go all out for silkiness and combined pumpkin and butternut squash together.
The resulting soup was heavenly. I think it may in fact be my favourite soup to date. Thick, and so velvety smooth that a spoonful seemed to caress the back of my throat, flooding my senses with a deep earthy sweetness. This soup just made me smile and sigh with contentment as it warmed me from the inside.
There is something so comforting about its beautiful orange amber colour, watching the floating spirals of steam drifting up from the bowl and breathing in its creamy earthy aroma. It’s hard to believe that something so simple can taste so good. All that’s required is some bread for dipping and you’re good to go. This is truly a soup for the soul.
Apparently it’s also National Homemade Soup day! Souper!
Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Soup
1kg pumpkin – I find the small ones with the deep orange flesh are best (e.g. Ambercup, Onion or Kabocha varieties)
1kg butternut squash
1 large onion
1 baking potato
2 small or 1 large garlic cloves
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme
2 pints water
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
Peel and roughly chop and onion, potato and garlic. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the prepared veg. Give it a stir and then put the lid on and leave it for 10-15 minutes to soften and sweat. If they catch slightly on the base of the pan don’t worry, this will only add to its depth of flavour.
Meanwhile, carefully slice the skin off the pumpkin and squash. Cut in half, scrape out the seeds and fiberous membrane from the middle and chop into rough chunks. (If you find them too hard to cut, cook in the microwave for 4 minutes to soften the skin to make peeling and slicing easier).
Add the pumpkin and squash to the pan along with the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Boil the kettle and pour over 2 pints of water. Bring the mix to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover with the lid and leave to cook for 45 minutes.
Check the vegetables with the tip of a knife to make sure they are fully cooked. When ready, blitz the soup until smooth using a liquidiser or hand held blender.
Serve in warmed bowls with bread for dipping.