It’s been hectic this week – 6 days on at work and huge amounts to get done. I’ve been keeping the idea of Sunday in my head to keep me going, knowing that it will be wonderfully relaxed and I can spend some time in the kitchen doing what I love best.
As always on a Sunday, there is a loaf of bread baking in the oven, a recipe that I’m tweaking and fiddling with at the moment, and puttering away on the stove is a big pot of Spiced Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup – one of the easiest and most delicious soups I know.
Hokkaido pumpkins are everywhere in the markets and food shops here in Germany at the moment, and since I’ve lived in Munich have replaced butternut pumpkins as my favourite.
I love the cheery bright orange of their skin and their flesh and the sweet, lightly nutty taste when they are cooked. Of course, the fact that you can chop them up and cook them up into a delicious thick soup, skin and all in a matter of minutes is a huge bonus.
I like to blend this soup up until really thick and smooth with a stick blender, then top it off with crispy fried prosciutto or bacon, a sprinkling of feta and a drizzle of olive oil.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I use other pumpkin or squash to make this soup?
Yes! You may need to peel it first, depending on the variety.
I am vegetarian, can I make this soup without the meat?
Absolutely! Simply leave it out.
SPICED HOKKAIDO PUMPKIN SOUP
- 1 Hokkaido pumpkin approx 1 - 1.5kg
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion or shallot, chopped
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp ras el hanout or mild curry powder
- 1-2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 stock cube
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 150 g feta
- fresh chives/herbs to garnish
- Wash the pumpkin, halve and remove the seeds. Cut the pumpkin into evenly sized pieces and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat the butter and olive oil, then cook the onion for 3-4 minutes until softened, but not browned.
- Add the pumpkin to the pot and allow to cook for one to two minutes, before adding the salt, ras el hanout, and chilli flakes. Crumble over the stock cube and pour over enough warm water so that the pumpkin is just covered (roughly 750ml - 1 litre). Give it all a good stir and bring to the boil.
- Turn the heat down, cover loosely and simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending with a stick blender to a smooth soup.
- Taste for seasoning (try not to add any salt - see note above) and add more spices to taste.
- In a small frying pan, fry the slices of prosciutto or bacon until lightly crispy, allow to cool for a minute before portioning out the soup into four bowls, shredding over the prosciutto and crumbling over the feta. Garnish with fresh chives and serve with crusty bread.
Feel free to swap out the feta for sour cream or creme fraiche. I find the contrast of the crumbly, salty feta with the sweet pumpkin is a perfect match. I like this sort of mildly spiced, but if you want throw in some more spices and chilli. It gives a nice base to the soup to use herb butter, but plain butter is also fine.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 1399mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 6gSugar: 13gProtein: 19g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.