Pumpkin soup is a winter classic. In this version we roast the pumpkin first to draw out the sweetness and add depth of flavour. Kent pumpkin, also known as Jap, has a deep orange colour, giving a vibrant result, while parmesan and chickpeas add texture and seasoning. Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the chickpeas.
- 1.2 kg peeled Kent (Jap) pumpkin, cut into 4cm cubes
- 4 red birdseye chillies, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp oregano
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 250 gm dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water
- 6 golden shallots, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 litre (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
- Finely grated parmesan and crème fraîche, to serve
- 1Preheat oven to 200C. Combine pumpkin, chillies and oregano in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with a third of the oil, season to taste, toss to coat and roast, turning occasionally, until pumpkin is very tender and caramelised (1-1¼ hours).
- 2Meanwhile, drain chickpeas and place in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered over medium heat until chickpeas are very tender (45-55 minutes). Drain, reserving 1 litre cooking liquid, and set aside.
- 3Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add shallots and garlic, and sauté over low heat until tender (12-15 minutes). Add stock and bring to the boil, then add pumpkin and chickpeas, and coarsely crush with a spoon. Add reserved chickpea liquid to achieve a chunky soup consistency, season to taste and serve topped with parmesan, crème fraîche and black pepper.
Drink Suggestion: A rich oloroso Sherry. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.