Roasted pumpkin soup

Roasted pumpkin soup #vegetarian #comfort #food

Pumpkin soup is one of Australia’s favorite soups, in fact I think we’re a bit obsessed with it. In the early nineties a friend moved to Ireland with her Irish boyfriend and they started a Melbourne-style cafe in Dublin. My friend, got so sick of Australian tourists coming into the cafe and asking for pumpkin soup, in whiny Australian accents, she deliberately left it off the menu. Another friend living in Hong Kong at the time got so homesick she made special meal of roast lamb and pumpkin soup, all the ingredients were overpriced in Hong Kong and it was one of the most expensive meals she’d ever made but it absolutely quelled the homesickness. Even though pumpkin soup is still the most searched soup recipe in Australia I feel like the nineties were the era of peak pumpkin soup, this was when roasted pumpkin soup first appeared and was on regular rotation on most cafe menus. It completely upped the ante in the pumpkin soup stakes and dominated until it was knocked its perch by Thai pumpkin soup (which is actually pretty good too).

I hadn’t made roasted pumpkin soup for years but I made a big batch last Friday to have with homemade pizza at a post election gathering at my house. For years I’ve felt very complacent about Australian democracy insisting that our compulsory/ preferential voting system gave us some kind of inoculation against Trump/Brexit style takeovers but, I was wrong. As the results started to come in I kept baking pizzas which I was too upset to eat. I’d spent the afternoon handing out HTVs for the Labor Party on a very slow booth and I talked politics and gossiped for about five hours with two Liberal booth workers. We had a blast and I thought, isn’t Australian democracy grand we can all get on and talk politics. Neither of them believed Morrison would win and they didn’t want him to, because they believed a loss was the only way they could push the right wing ideologues out of their party.

We were surrounded by Liberal party corflutes and one of the Liberals looked at the smirking image of Scott Morrison and said to me, he is the blackest hearted Prime Minister we have ever had. I was a bit gobsmacked but he went on. He’s no Christian, no Christian could do the job he did as Immigration Minister. I was like wow! But neither of us thought he was going to win, so we were safe Australia was going to dodge this bullet. Back home my niece and a few friends had come over to watch the election results and we sat shell shocked and I kept repeating – He is the blackest heartest Prime Minister we have ever had. He is our Donald Trump. We are screwed. My fifteen-year-old son kept asking if the Liberals were really going to win and I felt so crushed, was there something I could have done, been a better parent, a better person? Anything to avoid this result. Eventually at about ten o’clock I managed to eat a mug of pumpkin soup and even in my grief, I thought, man this soup, this soup is really good.

As we only ate three mugs of soup on Saturday night so I’ve had a whole heap of pumpkin soup to get through this week. It’s daggy and comforting which makes it the quintessential Australian soul food. My son tells me he will be voting at the next election and I have to believe Australians will see through the phoney, performative inauthenticity of this most black hearted Prime Minister ever. Yesterday, I had a hilarious two and a half hour appointment with my hairdresser and as she did my foils and cut my hair we eviscerated our new PM ScoMo. In our house we call him – He who shall not be named or The Liar from the Shire. I’m practicing self care by not watching any or listening to any mainstream media news and current affairs, I’m not going to bear witness to this attempt to put lipstick on this pig of a government. I’m going to read more books, listen to more music. (Neil Young and Joni Mitchell are on high rotation) I’m resting up, biding my time and I’ll be back. This government of grifters and deadbeats will stuff up and then we’ll pounce and take back our country from these black hearted ideologues.

In a night of bad news there was a bright spot when the independent senator Jacqui Lambie got back into the senate. She gave the Liar from the Shire a wonderful serve, telling him to drop the attitude if he wanted to deal with her. Jacqui Lambie saving us from the impending apocalypse was something I didn’t foresee two weeks ago.

Note on recipe – My only addition to this recipe is the sweet smoked paprika. It gives it a sweet smokey undertone that is amazingly good.

Roasted pumpkin soup

Adapted from Taste

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large butternut pumpkin (about 1.5 kg) peeled and chopped into 3 cm chunks
  • 1 litre of Maissel chicken style stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium leek, trimmed, washed and sliced
  • 2 medium cream delight potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked sweet Dulce paprika. (Optional)
  • Pure cream or creme Fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
  1. Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan-forced. Toss pumpkin and garlic in olive and season with salt and pepper. Line two baking trays with baking paper and place pumpkin and garlic in a single layer trays. Bake for 40 minutes until pumpkin is golden, tender and caramelised around the edges.
  2. Squeeze garlic from skin, and discard skin. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat and saute leek until softened, add chopped potato and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add paprika and stir until fragrant. Add stock and 2 cups of cold water. Season with pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Add pumpkin and garlic simmer for about 10 minutes until flavors are melded.
  3. Set aside to cool slightly. Blend soup in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan and gently heat through, stirring.
  4. Serve hot in bowls, drizzled with cream and sprinkled with chives.

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: