Its fall and there’s squash everywhere! Big and small, tall and plump, they’re abounding. Pumpkins are one of my favourite veggies and to start off this season I decided on a warm, hearty soup. I love the flavour of roasted pumpkins and sage. There’s something so warm and inviting about a bowl of soup. It the fix for all your troubles and leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. There’s nothing that spells home better than a piping hot bowl of soup.
Pumpkin and sage is always a match made in heaven. I decided to fancy up the old bowl of goodness with a cheeky little punch of sage pesto. I did the pesto with some sage and arugula, for the hit of pepper and the colour. Hazelnuts and pecorino for some richness and a dash of balsamic and lemon juice for the perfect tangy kick. This pesto adds the perfect foresty, herby notes to the roasted pumpkins. For some crunch I made a salty, spicy praline with some hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds. This was all things heaven!
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
1 Kg Pumpkin
Olive oil as needed
Salt as needed
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 Onion chopped
3 Thyme sprigs
2 Sage sprigs
1.5 litres Vegetable stock
2 cups Arugula
1/2 cup Sage
1/2 tsp Lemon zest
2-3 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tbsp Maple syrup
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Hazelnuts
1/4 cup Pecorino romano grated
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt as needed
Hazelnut and Pumpkin seed Praline
40g Pumpkin seeds
20g Hazelnuts ( halved)
1tbsp Maple syrup
2 tbsp Brown sugar
a pinch of Salt
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper / paprika powder
a pinch of freshly crushed Black pepper
A few sage leaves
1 cup cream
Preheat the oven to 205 C ( 400F).
Cut the pumpkin, remove the seeds. Cut the pumpkin pieces into chunks. Put them in a tray and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast for 30 mins, cut side down. Then, flip them over and roast for another 30 mins. Let them cool. Peel the skin off and roughly cut the pumpkin up.
Heat a heavy bottom pot, add in olive oil. Sauté the garlic and add in the onions. Add in the thyme and sage leaves and let the onion cook for about 10 mins over medium heat, till it turns golden. Season with salt. Add in the pumpkin and the vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 5-7 mins. Remove the sprigs of sage and thyme. Season with salt and pepper
Blend till it is smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
In a blender, add everything and blend. Season with salt as required.
Hazelnut and pumpkin seed praline
Preheat your oven to 180 C (350 F)
In a baking tray, put the pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, sugar and maple syrup. Add in the cayenne pepper, regular pepper and a dash of salt. Mix together and spread an even, thin layer on the tray. Bake for 12-15 mins, till a praline forms.
Once cooled, break into shards
Take a few leaves of sage and fry till golden. Set aside.
To finish off, pour the soup into bowls, drizzle the sage pesto and cream on top. Place a shard of the praline on the side of the bowl and garnish with some fried sage leaves.
Cut up a hearty loaf of bread, have a large bowl of soup and enjoy the feeling of home!