Roasted Pumpkin Soup Recipe

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2kg pumpkin

1 large onion, chopped

4 large or 6 medium garlic cloves,

(pressed or minced)

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon cloves

Tiny dash cayenne pepper (optional, if you like spice)

Freshly ground black pepper

900ml vegetable stock

120ml coconut milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

35g green pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 220 degrees (200 fan). Carefully halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Slice

each pumpkin halve in half to make quarters. Brush or rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over the flesh of the pumpkin and place the quarters, cut sides down, onto a baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes or longer, until the flesh is easily pierced through with a fork. Set it aside to cool for a few minutes.

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and salt to the pan. Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel the pumpkin skin off the pumpkins and discard the skin.

Add the pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper (if using), and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper to the pan. Use a spoon to break up the pumpkin a bit. Pour in the stock and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, toast the pumpkin seeds in a frying pan over a medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, golden and making little popping noises. You want them toasty, but not burnt, transfer to a bowl to cool.

When the pumpkin mix has cooked, stir in the coconut milk and maple syrup/honey. Remove the soup from heat and let it cool slightly. Blend with either a hand blender in the pan or use a standing blender, (which yields the creamiest results) - working in batches, transferring the pureed soup to a clean pan and repeat with remaining batches.

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (add more coconut milk for extra creaminess/milder flavour, or maple syrup to make it a little sweeter).

Ladle soup into individual bowls. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over the soup and serve. Let leftover soup cool completely before transferring it to a proper storage container and refrigerating it for up to 4 days (leftovers taste even better the next day!).

Or, freeze this soup for up to 3 months.

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