Monday, 22 October 2012

Pumpkin Soup- vegan

This bright orange soup is flavoured with aromatic bay, star anise and celery seed

Homegrown pumpkins- the blue-grey ones have the firm orange flesh that makes this creamy soup

I love the fact that by the end of September we always seem to have a huge pile of pumpkins to last us through the Winter until early Spring! We use the previous years' seeds each time we plant, so the different varieties tend to hybridise gradually into slightly different fruits, but they are all delicious, so who cares? For this warming soup recipe I used the small greyish sort, which has firm (rather than watery) bright orange flesh, as it's so creamy and tasty. The delicate flavour and natural sweetness of pumpkin is enhanced here by using aromatic flavourings in moderation. This recipe serves about 4 people as a light lunch, or more as a side. It's guaranteed to brighten up a drizzly Autumn day :-)

550g pumpkin flesh, peeled and diced
200g diced potato
1 tsp dried thyme
1tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp compound hing
a pinch of coarsely-ground black pepper
1-1/2tsps seasalt
2 tsps paprika
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (optional- or use 1-2 tsps ground cinnamon instead)
2 bay leaves
1/2 a star anise
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tab olive oil
1 1/4l water
  • Gently saute the pumpkin, potato and ginger in the oil in a large pan.
  • When coated in oil, add the star anise, hing, pepper and celery seed. Stir for about 1 minutes, ensuring the spices and veg don't stick to the bottom of the pan. By now, the spices should be starting to release their aromas.
  • Add the water and throw in the bay leaves, salt, paprikas, cinnamon (if using) and thyme. Bring to a simmer and put the pan lid on.
  • Simmer until the vegetables are soft, then remove the bay leaves and star anise and whizz in the blender until smooth and creamy.
  • Adjust water and salt to your liking. (I prefer this soup thick and velvety.)


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