In Australia, my absolute, most favourite soup is Pumpkin Soup (also known as Butternut Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Soup). Heinz and Campbell’s, the two biggest canned soup brands, both produce pumpkin soup, along with a host of other brands. But not in the UK. Why?!!
Since moving to the UK, it has become my mission to find a good pumpkin soup. Most of the main supermarket chains stock a fresh soup that contains butternut squash in it, but a lot of the time it’s been combined with something else and it just isn’t what I’m looking for. I can easily find a Spiced Butternut Squash Soup at Morrisons, a Butternut Squash, Honey and Sage Soup in Tesco, a Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup in Sainsbury’s, and a Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash and Parmesan Soup in Marks and Spencer, but I have to go searching high and low for a plain butternut squash soup.
One of the things that excites me most about owning my first ever food processor/blender combo is that I no longer have to search the shelves of 3 or 4 different supermarkets to find plain old pumpkin soup; I can make my own. It was a great day when I made my own pumpkin soup for the first time, and boy was it tasty. It ticked all the right boxes in terms of consistency, texture and taste and my only criticism was that I may have put a little bit too much roasted garlic in it.
It took me forever to peel my pumpkins, but those with more experience or stronger muscles should be able to do it a bit quicker. Pumpkin and garlic go into the oven with a little olive oil to roast and then the real work begins. Leek is softened in a saucepan, potato added, followed by seasoning, stock and water. The mixture is brought to boil, before being allowed to simmer until the potato is cooked. Pumpkin and garlic is added before the whole thing is chucked into a blender (in batches) once cooled. You then have the choice of heating it to eat immediately or trying your hardest to resist and divide it in to containers which are stuck in the freezer to save for ‘ron (that’s later on). Good luck with that!
Butternut Pumpkin/Squash Soup
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes + 30 minutes
2kg butternut pumpkin/squash, peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
4 garlic cloves, skin on
2 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, halved lengthways and sliced
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
4 cups (1L) chicken stock
2 cups cold water
Cream or sour cream, to serve
Chives, to serve
Toasted sourdough bread, to serve
- Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place pumpkin and garlic in a mixing bowl and add olive oil. Mix to coat.
- Organise pumpkin and garlic in a single layer on the baking trays and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 50 minutes, until pumpkin is tender. Keep one garlic clove, and discard the remaining 3 (keep more if you want a more garlicky tasting soup).
- Over a high heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add leek and cook for 3 minutes until softened. Add potato, and cook for a further 5 minutes, continuously stirring. Add chicken stock, cold water and season.
- Cover and bring to boil. Once boiling, lower heat to medium low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until potato is boiled.
- Squeeze garlic from skin and add to mixture, followed by pumpkin. Once pumpkin is heated through, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- In batches, blend the mixture until smooth.
- If serving immediately, add soup to a saucepan and heat over low heat for 4-5 minutes, until hot. Serve with a dollop of cream or sour cream and toasted sourdough bread and sprinkle with chives and pepper, to taste. Alternatively, divide into storage containers and freeze.