One of the more underrated autumnal vegetables, pumpkins are absolutely delicious! Roast them in salt and pepper, throw in a few chestnuts, blend it all up and you are finished with a thick, nutty soup with all the flavours of autumn – you won’t find many simpler dishes to make!
We had a lot of fun cooking the food for our Hallowe’en party; skeletal ribs and sausage intestines went down an absolute treat and the spiderweb shortcakes all disappeared in seconds, but the real star of any Hallowe’en has to be the pumpkin, and pumpkin and chestnut soup is no different. Rich and creamy with a nutty caramelised depth, this beautiful soup should be served throughout the autumn and not just for Hallowe’en!
I know it’s not pumpkin soup, but I couldn’t help but show off our collection of carved pumpkins this year – so much fun to make and our little boy has become somewhat obsessed!
Ingredients: serves 12 – 18
3 culinary pumpkins
240g roasted chestnuts
3 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
6 tsp vegetable stock powder
1200g boiling water
Method: preheat your oven to 200C (works beautifully roasted on the bbq too).
I found that only half a pumpkin fitted into each roasting dish so I have kept this recipe in half pumpkin quantities.
To prepare your pumpkins:
- First things first, cut them in half – use a sharp and preferably quite heavy knife.
- Then you need to deseed: with a spoon scoop out the seeds and remove the stringy bits from the pumpkin flesh.
- And peel: I find a simple potato peeler works best and it’s amazing how quickly a whole pumpkin can be peeled.
Now taking half a pumpkin at a time:
- Cut into 3cm chunks.
- Throw half a pumpkin (now in chunks) into a large mixing bowl with half an onion and a good drizzle of oil. Add plenty of seasoning and mix well, coating all the pumpkin chunks.
- Pour this onto a baking try and roast at 200C for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin has softened and begins to caramelise. (works beautifully roasted on the bbq too)
- Once cooked, toss into a food processor/thermomix with 40g chestnuts, 200g boiling water and 1 tsp vegetable stock powder. Blend on high speed (thermomix setting 8) for 30 seconds. Taste and season accordingly.
- Pour your soup into a large pan.
- Repeat steps 1-5 with the rest of your pumpkins reserving each time in your saucepan. (You can prepare multiple pumpkins at once, we could fit three pans in the oven so I did two lots of roasting)
You can serve the soup immediately or prepare a day or so in advance – refrigerate up to 3 days and warm up over the hob.
Works best served with warm bread – if you can find it, a rosemary flavoured bread is an absolute winner (flavours complement each other beautifully), we served ours with a pumpkin and rosemary sourdough from the wonderful Magee Street bakery.