Sometimes life gets in the way. It can get a little overwhelming, like people are pulling you in different directions, needing your attention. Sometimes it’s just you though, and it’s your own expectations of what you should be able to accomplish in a given week. Sometimes everything gets too much and it feels like you don’t have enough time, and when that happens – I make soup! The best meal to make when leftovers are the perfect gift for your future self.
Yes, I realise this is the second soup I’ve posted in a row (!) but this is what I am currently making in my kitchen… So I’m going to share it with you! It is substantially different than the lentil soup I posted last, but no less satisfying. This is a super tasty pumpkin soup, totally autumnal in flavour.
As I’ve said before regarding pumpkin soup, I really need there to be a lot going on for me to not find it too samey and cloyingly sweet. Like my previous (pretty damn popular) Turmeric Pumpkin Soup, this one is loaded with other flavours, much of which counterbalances the sweetness of the butternut pumpkin. For starters, there’s the roasted garlic – so much umami/savoury goodness! Secondly, it’s topped with toasted hazelnuts and sage, both which have bitter flavours that match well with pumpkin. It’s brightened with a little orange zest, and has a little spicy note from black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. It’s complex flavoured, and has interest from the crunchy hazelnut topping – no boring pumpkin soup here!
I like soups to be a full meal (who wants to cook twice? I’m not organised enough for that!) so I am always sure to add protein to the mix. This baby has white beans blended into it – totally unnoticeable, and it adds a creamy richness without the use of dairy. I use cannelini beans here, but any cooked white bean will do (and from a can is also fine).
This soup comes together simply and relatively quick, and is more of an assembly job if anything. Once you’ve roasted the pumpkin (which intensifies the flavour) and garlic, the soup is blended and ready in 5 minutes. Definitely weeknight friendly, but also a lovely weekend autumn meal for a day at home.
Just a quick end note: don’t be worried about the amount of garlic called for it the recipe, the result is a surprisingly mellow flavour brought about through roasting the cloves whole in the oven. See you next week for a not-so-soupy recipe :) xx
Roasted Butternut and Garlic Soup with Sage and Hazelnuts
I suspect other pumpkins can be used in this recipe, such as japonica – you may need to adjust the amount of stock used (and seasoning) as they have a different water content than butternut. Tinned beans are fine, use any variety of white beans you like and give them a good rinse.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Roasted Butternut and Garlic Soup
900g | 1 medium butternut pumpkin (squash), peeled and cut into 2-3cm chunks **
1 head of garlic (approx. 12 cloves), separated into cloves with skins on
60ml | 3 tbls olive (+ more to finish)
1 tsp sea salt (+ more to taste)
130g | 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
750 ml | 3 cups vegetable stock
240g | 1.5 cups cooked white beans (I use cannelini) **
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Plenty of ground black pepper
Sage and Hazelnuts
10g | a small bunch of sage leaves, finely sliced
40g | 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp orange zest
Sea salt to taste
Set your oven to 200C.
In a large roasting tray toss the pumpkin and garlic cloves (leaving the skin on the cloves) with 1 tbls of the olive oil. Use your hands to coat everything, making sure each clove is well oiled – I find it easier for a later step to keep the garlic separated to one side of the tray. Spread out into a single layer and roast in the oven for 30-35 min till pumpkin is cooked through.
Meanwhile prepare the sage and hazelnut topping by frying the sage slices in 2 tsp of olive oil in a pan over high heat till fragrant – about 30 sec. Remove from pan and mix with hazelnuts and orange zest in a small bowl. Season to taste.
About 5 minutes before the pumpkin is done, fry the onion in the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook till is it has softened and starting to colour – 4 min. Add the stock and white beans and bring to a boil before lowering to a simmer.
When the pumpkin is cooked through, remove the garlic from the tray and place on a plate till cool enough to handle. Once cool – squeeze each clove so that the cooked garlic pops out of it’s skin. Discard skins.
Add the garlic and cooked pumpkin to the stock, and puree using a stick (hand) blender till smooth. If you do not have a stick blender, use extreme caution blending in an upright blender – blend in smaller batches, do not overfill, cover the lid with a tea towel then your hand, and let steam escape intermittently.
Add the nutmeg, plenty of black pepper and extra salt, to taste.
Serve topped with the sage and hazelnuts and a drizzle of olive oil. Great with some crusty bread or toast on the side. Will keep airtight refrigerated for up to 5 days, freezes well.