Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins! My favourite vegetable by far. I used to avoid cooking pumpkin solely because I felt like I was fighting a losing battle trying to peel and cut it. I always ended up worse for wear. That was until I discovered the joys of baking a pumpkin BEFORE removing the flesh! My life forever changed.
It’s so easy – just scoop out the fibrous seed part of a halved pumpkin, place it face down/skin up on a tray lined with baking paper (I don’t like aluminium foil as it sticks) and bake for 60 minutes at 180oC / 360oC. You can keep the seeds if you wish and roast them – they then turn into the fancy name of pepitas! You can find instructions for roasting them easy enough, such as at Simply Recipes. Once your pumpkin has baked, simply scoop out the delicious sweet flesh (cue me salivating just thinking about it!!) into a large saucepan with the other ingredients to make the soup.
I know I must use spices a lot when my children prefer it that way! I particularly love using cumin, tumeric and ground coriander in this dish. It gives the soup a gorgeous fragrance – close your eyes and you can be transported to some exotic middle Eastern location – well one can dream anyway! The tumeric intensifies the colour of the soup, making it even more a feast for the eyes. Nutritionally it is a plethora of antioxidants care of the bountiful betacarotene in the pumpkin and carrots (where that beautiful orange/red comes from) and the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcurmin in tumeric.
My kids’ favourite way to eat this soup is in scooped out bread rolls – we love Brumby’s Bigger Than Texas Rolls as they are crispy on the outside (otherwise the steam from the soup could collapse the structure) and ultra-soft on the inside. Once you get through the soup, the steam softens the crust. Mmmmmmm……
I prefer chicken stock in the soup but vegetable stock can be used and it still tastes great for a vegetarian option. You can substitute cream for coconut milk for a vegan or a dairy-free alternative.
Spiced Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup
An exotic spiced soup that is the ultimate comfort food and a sure hit with the whole family.
- 1kg pumpkin, halved
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1L chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp ground tumeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ cup light cream or coconut milk (or to taste)
- Small handful chopped parsley as garnish
- Preheat oven at 180oC.
- Bake pumpkin halves face down on a tray lined with baking paper for 60 minutes. When flesh is soft, scoop out and add to saucepan after spices are cooked (see below).
- While the pumpkin is roasting, steam the sweet potato and carrots – makes the process faster – I do this in the microwave.
- Saute chopped onion on a medium heat in olive oil for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add spices and stir through, cooking until fragrant.
- Turn to low heat, then add steamed potato and carrots, roasted pumpkin flesh and stock, and turn up the heat, bringing the soup mixture to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and use a stick blender to puree the soup. Add cream/coconut milk, stir through well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve topped with a dash of cream/coconut milk and chopped parsely. Yum!