Simple, delicious pumpkin soup with a twist

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Pumpkins come into their own, grown in the home garden, providing comfort and warmth from summer through to the deep heart of winter.

If you have managed to grow pumpkins in your backyard like these ones that I grew a few seasons ago in a very small space then they are to be celebrated. If you prefer to purchase them fresh from your favourite farmers’ market or other local outlet, it can sometimes be a challenge to dress up this vegetable which can get a bit tedious towards the end of the season. This recipe is a tasty and warm variation on the traditional soup, giving pumpkin soup a new life!

You can use Butternut pumpkins such as these or it is equally nice with Jap or Queensland Blue. Use whatever you have. The recipes will accommodate all types.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
Yields: Serves 4-6

• Approx 1 kg Pumpkin of your choice, Diced
• 300 gm Red Capsicum, Sliced lengthways
• 1 Vegetable stock cube
• 100ml Cream, For serving
• Olive oil spray
• Water
• Black pepper, For seasoning

Place the sliced capsicum on a baking tray and spray lightly with olive oil. Place into an oven which has been pre-heated to 180 degrees C and roast until just turning black on the edges – approx 20 -25 minutes.

While the capsicum is roasting, place the diced pumpkin and vegetable stock cube in a saucepan and cover with water – just enough to cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil and simmer for approx 20 minutes or until soft and mash-able.

Remove the roasted capsicum from the oven. Remove and set aside 3 ladles of the liquid from the saucepan. Do not discard this liquid yet. Add the roast capsicum to the pumpkin and using a stick blender, blend the pumpkin and roast capsicum mixture together until smooth.

Check the consistency of your soup, if it is too thick add back some of the liquid you set aside earlier, blending as you go until you are happy with the consistency. It should be quite thick but still have a soup consistency.

Serve into deep soup bowls with a dollop of cream in the centre. Season with black pepper as preferred. As an alternative to cream you can sprinkle finely grated Parmesan on top of the soup when serving.