Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Soup

It’s fair to say I’m pretty obsessed with soup. Chris can never understand how we can go to a nice cafe or restaurant and I’ll order soup instead of, say, steak which is his more hearty go-to choice. I find soup to be pretty much the best thing ever. What’s not to love though it’s healthy, filling and comforting. You just want to eat it with your shoes off so you can wiggle your toes a bit and really get into it.
Soup is pretty easy to make. The main premise is stock + vegetables of choice. I wanted to go a little further this week and upgrade my usual pumpkin soup to a more refined level. I roasted the pumpkin and butternut squash before adding it to the soup, made my own vegetable stock and added coconut cream instead of cream cream.

I topped the soup with toasted seeds that were scooped out of the pumpkin and some beetroot slices. The seeds were the result of wanting to utilise the whole ingredient (waste not young son) and the beetroot was because I saw it done at a fancy French cafe and, well, it seemed legit.
Luckily Annette shared her photography expertise with me again this week!

Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Soup

Time: 30 minutes hands on and about 2 hours to simmer and become delicious
Makes: Heaps – enough for lunch and then to freeze about 4 containers to eat later

Half a pumpkin
Half a butternut squash
Vegetable stock
Coconut cream
Salt and pepper

1.Put onion, garlic, leek, carrot, cabbage, cloves, peppercorns and potatoes into the pot with some water and simmered for an hour or so.
2.After draining out the veges the vegetable stock formed the base of the soup.
3.Place the pumpkin and butternut squash whole onto a baking tray and bake at 200degrees for an hour or until the flesh is quite soft.
4.After roasting let them cool so you can scoop out the seeds first then the flesh. Set the seeds aside until later when you can roast them.
5.Place the pumpkin and squash flesh into a blender and whizz until smooth. It took me a few batches lest my blender didn’t overflow.
6.Add the pumpkin and squash to the stock and simmer for a further hour. My stock to pumpkin ratio was a bit off so my soup ended up a bit liquidy.
7.Try adding a small amount of stock, 3 or 4 cups at first and see what the consistency is like. After the soup has simmered for another hour add the coconut cream and season to taste.
8.For the roast pumpkin seeds to garnish the soup, place the seeds in a colander and rinse under the tap to get all the remaining flesh off. You will probably need to get your hands in amongst it.
9.Then drain the seeds, dry them with a handy towels if possible, toss with oil and salt and spread on a baking tray.
10.Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden and crunchy. These make a brilliant snack – they are so moreish. I will never discard my pumpkin seeds ever again!!

In terms of the beetroot, using a potato peeler peel off some shavings of beetroot and cut into thin slices. This makes a great garnish because the red seeps into the orange of the soup and looks really cool.