Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Pepitas

How do I describe this soup? It’s sweet, spicy, velvety, rich, flavoursome and hearty, with a touch of crunchiness – YUM!

I don’t know about you, but this Roasted Pumpkin Soup has everything I need to warm up on a cold winter’s day. To be totally honest, I love this soup any time of the year.

It’s quite ironic that I love this Roasted Pumpkin Soup so much really, because, as a child I HATED pumpkin, especially mashed pumpkin. I have a vivid memory of my first taste of mashed pumpkin and it wasn’t good.

I was about 12 years old and one day, I was invited to eat dinner at my friends house, who was from an Australian family. Now, if you’ve read my “Food & Me” page, you would know that I grew up on Greek food, so being presented with a dish of boiled mashed pumpkin, peas and sausages was not what I was used to. I didn’t mind the peas and sausages, but there was no way I could swallow the mashed pumpkin. To this day, I don’t know what was in it, but it scarred me for a long time, until I discovered baked pumpkin later in life.

IMG_2203So the lesson here is, even though you might try something and you don’t like it, cooking it a different way can result in a completely different taste. So, if you’re not a fan of pumpkin, please give this Roasted Pumpkin Soup a go, because you might be surprised at how much you’ll like it 🙂

What you need

  • 1.5 kg butternut pumpkin
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onions
  • Extra virgin olive oil – to drizzle
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • ½ cup pepita (pumpkin) seeds*

What to do

To make this Roasted Pumpkin Soup, start by cutting the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking tray.

Add the garlic to the tray, leaving them whole and unpeeled.

Without peeling the onion, cut them in half and place them on the baking tray with the pumpkin and garlic.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the pumpkin, garlic and onions, sprinkle cumin seeds, sea salt and pepper over the top, then drizzle the honey.

Place tray in a moderate oven (170°C) for 1 hour, or until the pumpkin is very soft and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Scoop the pumpkin flesh from the skin and place in a medium pot. Add the garlic by squeezing out the flesh (discard the skin).

Discard the outer layers of the onion and add remainder to the pot.

Add the stock (just add enough to just cover the pumpkin, keep any remainder aside).

Bring soup to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. If it’s too thick, add a little more stock (or boiled water).

Puree the soup using a blender (I use a stick blender directly in the pot to reduce washing up)

Spread the pepita seeds on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle a little oil and sprinkle sea salt over the seeds.

Place in a moderate oven for 8 -12 minutes or until crispy (be careful to not burn them as they will become bitter)

Serve the Roasted Pumpkin soup with some crispy pepitas on the top and crusty bread on the side.

* Don’t throw away the seeds from the pumpkin, use them for the topping by drying them out in a slow oven on a baking tray. Then drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and put them back in a moderate oven until they are crispy.