May 25, 2010

Heavenly Pumpkin and Parmesan Soup

Butternut pumpkin is just 90 cents per kilo this week at Safeway - the cheapest I've seen for a long time! For me, a great way to savour the sweetness and freshness in pumpkins is to simply roast in the oven with herbs or whiz them up to make a soup. 

My best kept recipe for pumpkin soup is based on one of Gordon Ramsay's, and produces a soup that not only looks appealing, but is also so velvety smooth and tastes superb - a guaranteed crowd pleaser. There is just something so moreish about it that makes you want to go for a second helping.  I find that stirring in some goat feta, when serving, adds a real kick to the dish and sets off the sweetness in the pumpkin; but it really is up to personal taste, as the soup is just as lovely on its own - mum prefers it without the cheese (although I did secretly crumble in a couple of small pieces and she loved it!) :-)

For this recipe, it is important that you use a nice, ripe pumpkin to ensure that your soup ends up vibrant in colour and intense in flavour. Check that the hue of the skin is dark and the texture a little wrinkly. Inside, the flesh should be bright orange and smell strongly of sweet pumpkin. Use any pumpkin that you can get your hands on or prefer - butternut is my favourite, because it is so versatile and I love the density of the flesh and its natural sweet and nutty flavours.

The pumpkin to the left is perfectly ripe, whereas the one on the right is too pale and won't be as flavoursome

Serves 4:
- 40g unsalted butter
- 2kg ripe pumpkin, peeled and chopped
- 25g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1.2 litres chicken stock
- 3 tbs double cream
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Goat feta, to serve

Put the butter in a large pan over a medium heat, and when it has melted, add the pumpkin. Turn up the heat and cook quickly until the pumpkin is completely soft, then stir in the Parmesan and add the hot stock.

Turn the heat down and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Leave to cool slightly, then blend in a food processor.

Pass through a fine sieve (optional step, if you want the soup to be smoother) back into the pan. Stir in the cream, bring back to the boil, check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Serve immediately, crumbling over the goat feta.

Heavenly Pumpkin and Parmesan Soup


Christine said...

This soup recipe looks divine! I bought some pumpkin yesterday and was debating what to do with it. You've solved that problem :) Love the idea of the goats cheese contrasting with the sweetness of the soup - can't wait to try it :)

Saucy Thyme said...

Yes, it's very delicious if you like your cheese :) All the best with your cooking!