Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup, with mashed parsnips and potatoes

More baby food, then. For those that haven’t read my last post I have a lower wisdom tooth cutting through. Because of that certain foods are out of the question. Although I’m eating some salad leaves and soft fruit. Things could be worse. With this Pumpkin Soup I made it, for the first and only time, four years ago when I travelled to several of the Canary Islands. In the south of Gran Canaria I was able to rent small apartments with, importantly, a kitchen (I’d been travelling for 5 or 6 months already, normally without access to making my own food). Whilst other residents were busily sunbathing by the pool I was busily chopping locally grown vegetables to my heart’s content – each to their own, I suppose. Then, this was made with green pumpkin (I think) with onions, carrots, garlic, white cabbage (surprisingly for me) and a little cayenne, bay leaf and vegetable stock. Even I was surprised at how good it tasted. Here, I’m using orange pumpkin. Whether or not that has a different flavour I really don’t know about as today I didn’t like the carrots – too overpowering for me. Tomorrow I’m going with parsnips and new potatoes instead. As for a spice, I’m loath to go with ginger as I normally would with butternut squash. Nor cinnamon. Yet, cayenne doesn’t really do this much justice. As for nutmeg I reckon that would be too heavy. Maybe I’ll trawl through the quagmire that can be the net these days. I can’t imagine how many thousands of pumpkin soup recipes there probably are online!

Anyway, as this recipe is essentially from my archives, and as this was cooked whilst travelling, how about several holiday snaps, then? What? Why are you pulling such a face. They’re not that wretched?! Hmm…

Pumpkin Soup, with mashed parsnips and potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • olive oil
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x onions, peeled, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 x dried bay leaf, ripped
  • 200g x orange pumpkin (flesh only, weight after peeling them), cut in half, in half again, seeds scooped out, cut into smaller pieces if necessary to be able to peel off skin
  • 2 x garlic cloves, peeled, trimmed and chopped
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x new potatoes (I’m using Annabelle), scrubbed and roughly chopped
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x parsnips, peeled, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1½ x organic very low salt vegetable stock cube (less if using regular)
  • 500ml (1.05 US pt lqd) x water
  • single/light cream (use vegan alternative) for the parsnip and potato mash
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • butter, to serve

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Put a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6) and when hot pour in enough oil to cover its base. Add the onions and the bay leaf and stir through occasionally. When the onions have softened and are beginning to turn a pale golden reduce heat to No 2.  Add a splash or two of water if the onions show any signs of drying out. When golden push the onions to the sides and add the garlic, with a little more oil if necessary. When the garlic is cooked sprinkle over the cayenne and take off heat if not ready for next instruction.
  • In the meantime prep most of the vegetables, excepting the potatoes as they can discolour. Those can be scrubbed and kept whole. When the onions are golden and the garlic has been allowed enough time to cook out it’s rawness add the vegetables (including the roughly chopped potatoes), pour in the water with the stock cube(s), up the heat to No 4, with a lid on saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to No 2 and simmer until potatoes are cooked. Remove potatoes and parsnips with a slotted spoon and set each in its own suitable bowl. Remove the bay leaf. Allow the pumpkin and the soup base to cool before adding to a liquidiser or blender. Blitz until smooth, then return to the rinsed out saucepan.
  • Add a little cream and butter to both the potatoes and parsnips. Mash until smooth and add a little seasoning, to personal taste.
  • If a bain-marie isn’t available it’s possible to use small serving dishes for both the mashed parsnips and potatoes to reheat them by placing them in a large saucepan with about 2.5cm (1 inch) of cold water, coverd with a lid and put on heat No 3. Bring to boiling point and reduce heat to No 1. Check occasionally to make sure the water doesn’t boil dry. If a small knob of butter is placed on top of each mash when it melts the veg will be piping hot. Remember only to use suitable bowls that won’t crack when used in boiling water.

Several holiday snaps below of Gran Canaria only. Will spare you the snaps of the other two islands I went to! This time…

Playa del Inglés, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain (Canarias, España). Dunas de Maspalomas

Playa del Inglés, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain (Canarias, España).
Dunas de Maspalomas (where the little people are).

Puerto de Mogán (old town), Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain (Canarias España)

Agüimes, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain (Canarias, España)
Canarian hill town.

La Casa Museo de Colón Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain (Canarias, España).
Behind the Cathedral in Plaza del Pilar Nuevo with (side elevation of) La Casa Museo de Colón (XVI century).

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


20 comments

    • Thank you. How charming! Not sure about the recipe. It’s the first (second) time to cook with pumpkin so I think this probably needs tweaking.
      Not feeling so bad. Used to dental problems. It’s no big deal. Especially as my only 2 wisdom teeth are growing as they should be. Just thrilled they won’t need to be cut out.

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  1. So much to say …. Stunning photographs! amazing. Love idea of mushing parsnips into the soup. Hope your wisdom tooth don’t bother you too terribly. Also, love the soup holder. Very rustic and just perfect for this kind of soup.

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    • Thanks for the compliments. Loving your animated gifs, btw. Yes, had the creamed and mashed parsnips in the soup today – so much better than carrots. I’m just not used to cooking with pumpkin, partly as it’s not nearly as popular here.
      Aren’t the soup bowls just great! £1 each in a local charity shop.

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    • Thank you. Yes, I’m liking pumpkin. It’s not nearly as popular here. I don’t think it’s even possible to buy pumpkin pie, something I loved when I was in the States 4 years ago. Talking of which, I must remember to check your blog for a pie recipe as I would like to try that. Anyway, the soup tasted even better today with creamed, mashed parsnips – so much better than carrot. Both the potato and parsnip mash are fairly neutral which allows the delicacy of the pumpkin to shine through. Toying with the idea of using either allspice or five spice next time. Oops, sorry about the essay!

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      • I am so glad I am not the only one who replies with a long comment:) LOL 🙂 I will be sure to post a pumpkin pie recipe …. one of my favorite kinds of pie:) What about toasted fennel seed croutons with crushed gray sea salt.. to flavor your soup or my favorite .. fried sage leaves and drizzle the oil from that on top:) .. what I use along with a little heavy cream for my roasted pumpkin soup..I will have to share the recipe soon:) .. but alas, I do use ginger in it..LOL:) but I still think you would enjoy it (skip the ginger)

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        • Thanks for those wonderful suggestions! Love sage and fennel. Can’t buy fresh sage leaves here, although dried pan-fried in olive oil over low heat and poured through a metal sieve should work. Think I’ll try that next time 🙂

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  2. This is tough to photograph nicely, because, well, it is a liquid soup. But you did it! Probably it has to do with the dreamy bowls you are serving it in! It sounds like a delicious meal.

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