Easy Date Night Recipe Pumpkin Soup for Valentines Day. When the squash harvest arrives and temperatures start to plummet there is nothing better than a warm comforting soup. This recipe is easy to whip up in three simple steps.
Alternative: Season the pumpkin with warming spices for a typical autumnal flavour. For a Mediterranean twist season with 1 teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon harissa, salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Place 1 large pumpkin cut into quarters, 1 onion peeled and cut into wedges, and one head of garlic into a large roasting pan.
Drizzle with 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon, sea salt to taste, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) paprika, freshly ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated nutmeg. Toss vegetables to coat.
For a dinner party: Once cooked in the oven, the vegetable mixture freezes well. For a simple dinner party appetizer, simply defrost and add the stock in time to serve. Lay out different toppings like bacon, cooked shrimp, pepitas, and crema so that guests can choose their own topping.
Bake tray of vegetables in oven for 30 minutes until cooked and softened or until a skewer inserted into the centre of pumpkin glides through easily. Remove tray from oven and set aside to cool. Once cool to the touch, remove skin from pumpkin and squeeze garlic from its skin
Instant flavour boost: Add more flavour to the soup by changing the stock. Go Asian by making a quick broth of 1 stalk lemon grass, 5 kaffir lime leaves, 3 tablespoons soy sauce and 5 chilies. Strain and add to roasted vegetables.
Transfer vegetables to a large saucepan then using a stick blender, puree until smooth, adding 1.5L-2L chicken stock if necessary. Alternatively, use a blender
to puree. Season to taste. For a smooth soup, strain mixture through a fine sieve. Sprinkle with toasted pepitas and crema (optional).
Get a different flavour, vary the vegetable
KABOCHA SQUASH: With a concentrated but sweet squash flavour, kabocha has a dry texture so you will need to add more stock to the recipe.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH: This squash will give our soup a rich, sweet nuttiness. It is lighter in both colour and flavour than other squashes however it retains moisture well.
ACORN SQUASH: A little tedious to cut open, this squash lends a sweet, dry texture to the soup so adjust the stock accordingly.
This article first appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of City Style and Living Magazine. Want more delicious and easy recipes?