PumPkin Soup



Ingredients


1 kg butternut pumpkin
100 ml olive oil
1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced
1.5 litres water
200 ml cream (optional)
Salt

Method:

1. Peel the pumpkin using a vegetable peeler, not a knife. cut in half lengthways and remove the seeds with a spoon. cut into quarters lengthways and then slice thinly in the opposite direction.

2. heat the olive oil in a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients. cook the onions over mediumlow heat without colouring.

3. add the pumpkin and cook for a further 5 minutes, then increase the heat to high, add the water and bring to the boil. reduce the heat and simmer for 3040 minutes or until the pumpkin is completely soft.

4. remove from the heat and stand for 10 minutes before blending using a hand-held or benchtop blender.

5. after blending, return to the heat, add the cream, if using, and salt to taste. Bring back to a simmer before serving.


HINTS AND TIPS:


* You will needcutting board, cook’s knife, getable peeler, weight and liquid measures, wooden spoon, heavy-based pot and hand-held or benchtop blender.


* When peeling pumpkin, to avoid the sticky orange film that builds up on your hand, rub a small amount of oil onto the hand that holds the pumpkin. You may need to reapply on occasion.


* Butternut pumpkin is ideal for this soup, but other great varietals include Japola (Jap), Kent, or any dark-fleshed pumpkin.


* The dollop of cream at the end gives a smooth, velvety texture. Try adding a dollop of coriander pesto or salsa verde. Or sprinkle with grated parmesan or some croutons.


* Try roasting the pumpkin either in pieces or whole. Roasting vegetables caramelises their natural sugars which in turn enhances the flavour of the vegetable, making the soup just that bit richer and fuller flavoured.


* Adding spices to pumpkin soup is recommended to create nother dimension. For example, use 1 ablespoon red curry paste and 200 ml coconut cream in the basic recipe.


* Substitute sweet potato for the pumpkin in this recipe.


* Pumpkin in the US and UK refers to a type of sweet pumpkin reserved for making pumpkin pie or jack-o’- lanterns (these have a large seed cavity and pale orange flesh). Pumpkin in Australia and New Zealand refers to all hard-skinned squash including the likes of butternut, Japola, golden nugget and Queensland blue. These and several other cultivars are all known as ‘winter squash’ in the US or ‘squash’ in the UK.

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