This soup has been in high rotation this winter and each time I love it just a little more! It was inspired by Stephanie Alexander’s latest cookbook Home. I’ve simplified the method but roasting the vegetables is non-negotiable, as it’s what gives this soup its rich umami flavour.
Roasted pumpkin and tomato soup
1 kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into 6 cm chunks
1 small potato, peeled and halved (optional, to thicken the soup)
1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced
4 medium-large ripe tomatoes, halved
6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1.5 litres vegetable stock (I prefer homemade or Marigold bouillon powder)
1 – 2 tsp smoked paprika
1/3 cup olive oil
Sprig of rosemary (optional)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 220c (200c fan-forced).
Cut the pumpkin, potato and onion as directed above. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, herbs, garlic and a pinch of salt. When covered in oil, lay out in a single layer in your baking dish. Ideally use a large baking dish big enough to fit all the vegetables without overcrowding, that’s safe to use on the stove top, if it’s not big enough, use two.
Roast vegetables for 40 minutes, give the tray a shake and stir halfway through this time. It’s ok for the vegetable to get crisp and a little scorched (but not burnt) as this deepens the flavour.
Remove from the oven and throw away the rosemary stem. Take out the tomatoes and discard the skins. Do the same with the garlic. Both should be easy to slip off when cooked. Add these along with the rest of the vegetables to a large pot.
Place the baking dish, with the delicious stuck-on goodies, on the stove top on medium heat. Add a cup or two of your stock and stir with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Once the bits have come away from the pan, pour the deglazing liquid into your pot with the vegetable. Add the remaining stock and whizz with a hand blender until smooth. Alternatively you can use a blender or food processer.
Put the pot on the heat and bring to a simmer. Taste before adding salt and pepper. If using a commercial stock it mightn’t need much. If the soup is thicker than you’d like add more stock. If a bit thin, just simmer on a low heat til you have your desired consistency.