In last week’s post, I complained about missing ‘proper autumn’ and ‘pumpkin season’ here in Greece, because autumn in Greece is basically more pleasant than spring with it’s warm days and usually clear skies (not really something to complain about, I realize).
Be that as it may, I can’t possibly wait until November, or December to talk about this roasted pumpkin soup, since pumpkin-based foods seem to be strictly an October-thing.
I’m pretty picky with my pumpkin soups. I don’t like them too sweet, I don’t like them too thick, nor too thin and I need a little something to chew on rather than spending minutes slurping down a bowl of boring homogeneous, smooth mush.
This pumpkin soup here is the one for me: the pumpkin is oven-roasted until slightly caramelized at the edges and sides for about 45 minutes, which adds a nice toasty sweetness to the soup while it’s also got a little kick to it coming from smoked paprika powder, fresh chilies (or not fresh, doesn’t really matter), and a little bit of curry powder. And, while this pumpkin soup is still smooth and creamy as it should be (thanks to lots of coconut milk), it’s topped with a generous amount of lightly toasted cashews and pumpkin seeds to give it a little crunchy bite as well. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that it’s totally plant-based too – which is just a happy coincidence.
Tip #1: This soup freezes really well. Sometimes I like to make a bit extra (like, double the amount listed) and divide it over plastic bags (to portion) to freeze and keep some for when ‘pumpkin season’ is over!
Tip #2: While I would advise to purchase pumpkin seeds that are already shelled for this recipe, you can save the seeds from your fresh pumpkin to toast in the oven as well.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- 1kg edible pumpkin
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 fresh red chili pepper, or 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
- 1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked (or regular) ground paprika
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 200ml coconut milk
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- 100g cashew nuts, for garnish
- 20g shelled pumpkin seeds, for garnish
MethodNote: cooking time includes 45 minutes of hands-off oven-roasting the pumpkin. Making the actual soup does not take very long.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Roast the pumpkin: Cut the pumpkin into wedges. Place pumpkin wedges on a large baking tray and drizzle on three tablespoons of olive oil. Roast pumpkin in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized at the edges/sides.
- Meanwhile prep the other vegetables: Dice the onion and roughly chop the chili pepper and garlic cloves. Set aside.
- Peel the pumpkin: When the pumpkin is done, take it from the oven and let it cool until safe to touch. Separate the pumpkin flesh from the skin with a spoon.
- Fry the aromatics and vegetables: Heat a Dutch oven, or large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent and soft for about 5 - 6 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped chili pepper, curry powder and ground smoked paprika and stir for another minute until fragrant. Finally, add the pumpkin flesh to the soup pot.
- Bring soup to a simmer: Pour in the vegetable stock. Bring everything to a simmer. Once the soup starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, toast the cashews and seeds for garnish: while the soup is simmering, heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and pumpkin seeds and toast them until they are warm and start to brown slightly (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and roughly chop up the nuts and seeds. Set aside until later use.
- Blend until smooth: When the soup has cooked, turn off the heat. Add the coconut milk and use an immersion blender (or scoop into a blender) to blend the soup until it is creamy and smooth.
- To serve: Season soup with salt and freshly cracked black pepper according to taste. Divide soup over bowls and garnish with the toasted cashews and pumpkin seeds.