Marie writes about health, well-being, writing and food. Marketing writer with 30 years experience in PR and advertising.
A Winter Warmer
This is an easy pumpkin soup recipe that can be enjoyed immediately or frozen for future use.
Pumpkin soup is a hearty and healthy meal that is perfect for cold winter evenings. Eaten as a starter or even as a snack, the flavour of this soup will have you wanting more. Paired with fresh rye bread, warmed in the oven if you like, or with a meat or chicken dish, it really is the tastiest pumpkin soup you will eat.
Kids enjoy this soup too. If you are cooking for kids, don't add as much pepper—although my kids became used to the peppery taste once they were tweens.
The addition of grated nutmeg when the vegetables are cooking, and then adding more once blended, gives this soup a nutty flavour. It is the black pepper and the nutmeg that gives this soup a bit more punch.
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- 1/2 butternut pumpkin, chopped
- 1 potato
- 2 carrots
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- sprinkle nutmeg, grated
- 250 grams water
- 250 grams chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 50 grams black pepper, grated
- 5 grams chives, chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons ricotta cheese or sour cream (optional), Mix in when ready to serve
Step 1: Prepare the Vegetables
- Chop the pumpkin into chunks, not too small or they will fall apart when you take them out of the pot. You can chop the other vegetables too if you wish, but it's not necessary. I find it quicker and easier to place them in the pot whole.
- Use a medium-size pot and only just cover the vegetables with the liquid (stock plus water). Boil all the ingredients for about 1 hour. Bring to the boil when you first place the pot on the hob, then simmer with the lid askew for the rest of the time. I check the progress and mix the ingredients around a couple of times while it is simmering. You will know it's ready when all the vegetables have softened. Prick them with a fork and if the fork goes in easily, ie the vegetables are soft, then they are ready.
- Allow the vegetables to cool in the pot for at least 1 hour. You can leave the pot on the hob, or move it if you want it to cool faster.
Note about stock: If I don't have any stock in my pantry, which is rare, I use just water. I season with salt, pepper, and herbs. I like adding tarragon or rosemary, depending what I have available.
Step 2: Blend the Soup
- Have a blender ready for this part. Bring the pot over to where you have your blender. Use a pair of tongs to pull out the vegetables and place them in the blender. Allow the vegetables to drain before putting them in.
- Begin to blend and if needed add water from the pot. Use a tablespoon at a time when adding water, you don't want the mixture to become too wet.
- Whizz the ingredients until smooth. At this stage, I like to add more grated nutmeg, salt and more pepper if required.
- Pour the soup into a bowl and serve with a sprinkle of chives and warm bread. Or, add ricotta and mix it through. Of course, sour cream can be used here too, but as I mentioned before, I prefer ricotta. It has slightly fewer calories than sour cream. (Ricotta has 174 calories per serving whereas sour dream has 193 calories per serving. If you're watching your weight, every calorie counts.)
Notes about seasoning: I add salt to taste and we like a good grating of black pepper. Pumpkin soup can be bland so the pepper gives it a real punch. I also add a sprinkle of nutmeg, then add more once everything is blended.
How to Make This Soup Even Better
Here are a few tips for how to level up your pumpkin soup:
- Roast the pumpkin before adding it to the other vegetables. This gives the soup an earthier, more rustic flavour. Boil the other vegetables for about 15 minutes before adding this already cooked pumpkin.
- Experiment with herbs: add parsley to garnish or dill, maybe even rosemary. Any fresh green herb adds more flavour.
- I have added tasty cheddar cheese instead of ricotta or sour cream. When I am low on ricotta, I add a saltier cheese like aged cheddar as a garnish. It melts through the hot soup and tastes amazing.
- This soup is freezable for up to three months. When you do defrost it, add these ingredients to bring out more flavour.
I Hope You Enjoy This Soup!
Pumpkin soup is a staple in my home during winter. We all enjoy it and for me, a warm piece of rye bread is the perfect accompaniment to this healthy soup. A glass of red wine also goes well, especially if you team this soup with chicken or meat.
Give it a try next time the day is dreary or cold. Don't forget too that this soup can be frozen and kept for two to three months in the freezer. If you have leftovers, consume within three days. Also, don't add the ricotta cheese (or sour cream) until you are ready to eat the soup because the cheese will go off within a day once it is mixed in.
Note: As you can see from my photos, I'm a rustic type of cook. My meals don't always look perfect, but the taste is great, believe me.
© 2022 Maria Giunta