Roast Pumpkin Soup with fresh Thyme
SERVES 6 SUPER EASY
Pumpkin is a wonderful winter vegetable which lends itself to a great Variety of recipes. It’s worth getting to know and this soup is a good Starting point. Experiment with different varieties, as some can be very bland While others are rich and concentrated. Butter nut and acorn are two of Our favourites. The soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.
1kg (2 1/4 lb) pumpkin, halved and seeded
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
750g (1 ½ Ib) onions, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
750 ml (1¼ pints) vegetable stock
1 bouquet garni
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground white pepper
375 ml (13 fl oz) milk
1 tablespoon fresh thyme .leaves or ½ tablespoon dried thyme
Gruyere and Parmesan Cheese Toasts to serve
Pre–heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Place the pieces of seeded pumpkin flesh–side down on a large baking sheet. Cover tightly with kitchen foil and cook in the pre–heated oven for about 1 hour until the flesh is soft to the touch. Remove from the oven, scoop all the flesh off the pumpkin shell and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium high heat and sweat the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes until soft and transparent without any colouring. Add the cooked pumpkin flesh and vegetable stock, and all the seasonings except the thyme. Bring it all up to the boil, then simmer gently for about 10 minutes. As the pumpkin and onion are already cooked you’re really just letting the flavours meld together at this point. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Purée in a blender or food processor then pass through a fine sieve.
Return to a clean pan, add the milk and thyme, then reheat the soup over a medium heat without allowing it to boil. Serve immediately in warmed soup bowls with the Gruyere and Parmesan Cheese Toasts on the side, or even placed on top just before serving.