Middle Eastern Spiced Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Here's a recipe inspired by our team member and resident chef, Nena's love of Middle Eastern flavours and some of autumn’s finest veg, including pumpkin (or squash). Feel free to use any mix of squash (like a kabocha or red kuri) or pumpkin, but be sure to get a pumpkin that isn't just grown for carving. But if you have a carving pumpkin going spare, feel free to use it, just up the spicing.  You can also make up extra spice mix to use in other dishes.

Ingredients:

Serves 6

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Aleppo chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • ½ teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, roughly chopped
  •  1 kg pumpkin/squash, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, whole
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1-1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400g tin white beans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice ½ of lemon
  • 2-3 thick slices of sourdough, torn into bite sized pieces
  • Handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • Crème fraiche (dairy or non-dairy, you choose), to garnish (optional)

 

How To Cook:

  • Preheat the oven to 190C (fan). Meanwhile, in a dry pan, toast the seeds. Transfer seeds to a pestle and mortar, along with the other spices and grind to a fine powder.
  • Put the chopped veg into a large roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the spice mix (reserve a teaspoon for adjusting the flavour of the final soup), along with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Use your hands to rub in the oil and spices, making sure you coat the veg. Put the bulb of garlic into the same tray. Pop the veg into the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until the veg are soft and the edges begin to brown.
  • While the soup simmers prepare your croutons. Place the bread on a line baking tray, squeeze over the remaining garlic, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix to coat the bread. Put the bread in the oven to toast for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway. These should be golden and crispy when ready. Sprinkle the parsley over the breadcrumbs and toss to combine.
  • When soup has thickened, add the lemon juice and blitz until smooth using a hand blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt, pepper, spices, or lemon juice.
  • Serve garnished withed a few croutons, a drizzle of olive oil and a dollop of crème fraiche, if you wish.
  • When the veg are soft, take out the garlic bulb and cut off the top. Squeeze 5-6 cloves from their skins. Transfer these, along with the veg oil and spices into a large sauce pan. Cover the veg with vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for a few minutes, then add the beans. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the beans are soft and begin to break apart.