It was a grey day out today, low clouds making everything look hazy – the sort that when you walk outside you can very nearly feel each little individual droplet of frozen fog collide with your face. That type of low hanging cloud always makes me reach for something warm and comfy; whether that be a trusty old sweater or a mug of steaming soupy bliss.
Over the past few years I have grown into a real love for squash, all varieties. My mom has had a strong dislike for squash ever since she was young girl, as such it was never something that she made or bought when I was growing up. Her general dislike for it translated into my own dislike without every having tried it out for myself. According to my dad that happened a lot.
In our household, pumpkins were for carving on Halloween – not for eating. My mom would roast up the seeds, but that was the extent of it; the pumpkin would be sent straight outside to smile toothlessly at small children and leave no chance of roasting. No, squash in general was definitely not part of my culinary upbringing.
Something about the versatility of a pumpkin, of most squash really, but pumpkins in particular I very much enjoy. The small addition of cinnamon giving it a sweet warm dessert like flavor, versus the instant savory flavor punch that comes with mixing in earthy herbs and black pepper.
Pumpkins make for one of my favorite soups for exactly that reason, they can be so savory and when pureed so creamy, it’s like soul-comfort. It’s a nice change from the otherwise delicious pumpkin waffles, pancakes, porridge or pie.
This soup is incredibly simple, full of flavor and ultimately produces very little dish-washing. Big bonus, right? The soup is made simply of pumpkin, onions, garlic, some veggie stock, lemon juice and spices. The trick to it, however, is roasting the garlic and the onion inside the pumpkin. Yeah, that’s right. Inside.
Once the pumpkin has been cut open and it’s belly full of seeds and guts have been removed – the pumpkin is roasted opening face-down with garlic and onion halves inside. The garlic and onion essentially steam inside the pumpkin as it roasts, infusing the flesh of the pumpkin with all that roasted garlic-oniony goodness. The scent is incredible. Once the pumpkin is soft, the inner flesh is scraped out with a spoon and all remaining contents of the roasting pan are blitzed up in a blender with some stock. Easy. Simple. Souuper satisfying.
For a little added touch, the soup is garnished with a swirl of gingery yogurt. The yogurt adds just that touch of tang to round out the creaminess of the pumpkin, and the ginger gives it a desirable spike in heat. Any type of yogurt is acceptable, goat and sheep will lend obviously a bit more tang than coconut or cow-dairy but really it’s personal preference.
All in all it’s a delicious hug on a winter day.
- For The Soup
- 2 Small Pumpkins
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 4 Cloves of Garlic
- ½ Cup Water
- 3 Cups Vegetable Stock
- ½ - 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds - Whole
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- For the Yogurt
- ⅓ Cup Thick Yogurt of Choice (I like tangy unsweetened coconut, but dairy will work too!)
- 1" Knob of Ginger
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- For the Soup
- Turn oven to 350 degrees, get out a large oven proof dish
- Wash the pumpkins, peel and halve the onion, peel the garlic
- Cut the pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds and place hollow side down over top of the garlic cloves and onion halves.
- Pour the ½ cup of water into the dish and place it in the oven to cook for 30-40 minutes or until soft when pricked with a fork
- Once the pumpkin has cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool while bringing the vegetable stock up to a boil.
- Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin, adding it along with the onion and garlic cloves to a blender.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and cumin seeds
- Blitz until even, season with salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish & serve immediately
- For the Yogurt
- Grate the ginger into a small bowl
- Whisk in the water and yogurt until combined
- Spoon or swirl over soup as garnish