Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup is possibly my favourite soup, but even so it comes in nearly endless varieties. I do love making my old favourites such as Dorinda's Spicy Carribean Pumpkin Soup. But then I spy a new pumpkin soup recipe and love making those too. I have made many pumpkin soups based on roasting the pumpkin and they certainly give a stronger depth of flavour. I usually use what in Australia is called Jap/Kent pumpkin for my soups, although this one specified butternut so I used that.

Butternut has a milder pumpkin flavour than Jap, and doesn't make as good as soup in my book. The colour isn't as deep and the flavour not as robust. Not that butternut soup is bad, I just know that there is better pumpkin out there. But it's nice to try alternatives every so often even if it only does serve to reinforce the prejudices.

Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin Soup

2kg butternut pumpkin, seeds removed and halved
1 brown onion, halved
1 head garlic, whole, loosely wrapped in aluminium foil
olive oil, for drizzling
3 cups water
1/2 cup pouring cream
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 200C. Place the pumpkin, cut-side up, on a baking tray with the onion and the garlic and drizzle with oil. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden and cooked through.

Scoop the pumpkin and onion from their skins and place in the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and add to the food processor.

Add 1 cup of water and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining water, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook until the soup is heated through.

Serves 4

Donna Hay
Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Magazine April 3, 2011

The original recipe separated the cloves of garlic and drizzled them with oil with the other vegies, but I like roasting garlic wrapped in foil. It took at least an hour and a half to roast the pumpkin, not 50-55 minutes.

My aging food processor wasn't really up to the job, and it would probably have been better if I had used the blender, but by the time I realised that I'd already used the food processor, and there's no way that I'm using and then cleaning both.

I wimped out and only added a 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, mainly because I wanted my 10 year old to eat it without complaint- which he did. He said that it wasn't his favourite meal, but that it was ok, and he gave it 7.5/10, which is a total success in my book.

Donna suggested that you serve the soup with cheesy leek and polenta madeleines, but I couldn't be bothered, so spread some delicious local herbed cheese on a fresh bread stick instead.