Pumpkin soup is something I discovered after moving to Australia. It is a staple of winter table. The thicky, creamy orange bowls are a go to comfort food that staves off the winter rains.
If you are reading this from North America I’m talking about squash. All squashes are called pumpkins here and believe you me do not get this wrong. I actually had a green grocer refuse to sell me a butternut pumpkin once because I called it a butternut squash. He wouldn’t accept me trying to correct myself. Luckily the next stall at the market was more tolerant of my accent and use of language.
Stuart loves pumpkin soup. However, pumpkin doesn’t love a migraineur.
Pumpkin (squash) is a member of a group of plants called Cucurbitaceae or the cucurbits. This is a pretty big group of edible plants that form a foundation of our vegetables year round. Pumpkins, all the squashes including zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon and other melons. I like to think of them as fruits and vegetables with firm flesh and their seeds floating around inside.
Cucurbits are all naturally high in citrulline which can trigger migraines. The body metabolizes citrulline into arginine which is the primary fuel for the nitric oxide pathway. To add further insult to injury they are naturally high in arginine so you get a double dose. Citrulline and arginine are super foods for the migraine beast so they should be consumed with caution.
Stuart avoids all melons as they are extremely high in citrulline. As for pumpkin, squashes, cucumber and zucchini it’s no more than three serves a week and never on back to back days. This can be a problem for things like soup as we tend to make it in big batches.
In my effort to make things easy and save time I’ve developed a prep free, easy to freeze pumpkin soup. The addition of cumin, sumac and sweet paprika keep the soup true to its North African origins. Roasting up the vegetables means not peeling and chopping. Once the soup is pureed it can be frozen at the desired serving size.
Enjoy my friends.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
The sweetness of roasted pumpkin and sweet potato with a hint of North African spices makes for a great winter warmer.
Required skills: boiling water; slicing vegetables without losing a finger.
Roasting the pumpkin and sweet potato brings out their sweetness and reduces the prep time for this dish to nearly nil. You can make as much or as little as your heart desires; just keep the ratios of pumpkin to sweet potato the same. This soup is easily adapted for vegans by using vegetable stock and coconut milk. I like to make in large quantities and freeze up meal size batches before adding in any cream.
- 1 kg (2 lbs) butternut pumpkin (squash)
- 0.5 kg (1 lb) sweet potato
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground sumac
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- 4-6 cups of homemade chicken or vegetable stock. Never, ever use stock cubes.
- 300 ml cream or preservative free coconut milk
- Baking tray
- Large stock pot
- Stick blender, blender or food processor
- Cut butternut pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side up on a baking tray with sweet potatoes. Roast in a 180C (350F) oven for 30-60 minutes until very soft.
- Allow to cool until you are able to handle them and scoop out the pumpkin and sweet potato flesh so it can be purred by you instrument of choice.
- While pureeing use the stock to thin and add in the spices. This is the point that you can freeze the soup base.
- Transfer to a large pot and continue to add stock until soup is at a consistency that you like. Bring to a low simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the cream or coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve with crusty bread.
So my friends, what is your go to freezer soup?