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29 September 2016

Vegan Pumpkin Soup from Chef de Cuisine: Special Edition

 Autumn, chestnuts, pumpkin... What else do you think about when the first leaves start falling down? Cosy evenings under the blanket? With hot cup of tea or spicy hot chocolate? My autumn always starts with a bright orange pumpkin. Then come the chestnuts ;) 

You might have understood, that I love pumpkin. Although I have to admit it was not always like that. When I was younger, I could easily live without eat. Now I know why. Except of baked pumpkin squares with cinnamon and oatmeal porridge with pumpkin pieces I had no idea that there are so many tasty dishes with this wonderful bright and seasonal fruit. Spicy pumpkin pie like this sugarfree version, or a pumpkin layer cheesecake variation or creamy pumpkin soup. Mmmmm... Where have I been before?!

After I started trying to cook on my own and exploring different interesting recipes, I found out a lot of fascinating ones. And just when I started visiting cooking classes I got access to special ones. And today in Special Edition I want to share with you this recipe of a wonderful pumpkin soup directly from the Wild and Noble vegetables cooking course led by Chef de Cuisine - charming  Julia Eckerstorfer.

 Ingredients:

1 kg chopped Hokkaido pumpkin with skin (seeds taken out)
1000 ml water
1 carrot
2 white onions (1 peeled and chopped, another whole)
broccoli (apple size piece)
1 bay leave
2 peppercorns
1/2 apple or 6-7 dried apple slices
salt, pepper
pumpkin seed oil
roasted pumpkin seeds
sprinkle of oregano


Why Hokkaido? This is a wonderful pumpkin, that you can cook with its skin. So it saves your time, energy, tastes wonderful and adds so much color to the final dish. Like Sun in a bowl! Of course, you can choose some other type (e.g.Butternut). Just wash and peel it before cooking.
The very first step for a soup is to make a good stock for the soup. I prefer vegetable stock for this one. Although if you have some rests of chicken broth it will go well in this recipe. But if not here is the recipe and a little tip I have got from Julia.

1. Fill a pot with water. Put it on the stove over medium-high heat.

2. Add peeled carrot, 1 onion, broccoli, peppercorns and bay leave. You can add celleri sticks if you have some. But they are optional.

Cooking Tip!
In order to add special sweet note to balance stock's taste, add a handful of apple slices. I personally had no idea that apples belong to the veggie stock. But when I tried this recipe I was amazed how good it goes along with pumpkin. I always have dried apple slices from my parents garden at home and they are just perfect for the stock.

3. Cover your pot with a lid so that water can come to the boil quicker. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and take the lid off. Add salt up to your taste. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Then put aside.

4. Now it's time for pumpkin. In a bigger pot heat vegetable oil and add chopped onion. Stir for about 30 seconds until it starts loosing color. Add chopped pumpkin and stir well at lower heat for another 2-3 minutes. Then start adding your stock until pumpkin is 80 percent in the stock. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

5. As soon as pumpkin has softened take the pot from the heat and blend the pumpkin in a mixer util smooth. For an extra smooth texture, the processed soup should be passed through a fine sieve, using the back of a ladle to push it through.And this is a very important moment to get the texture. Do not be lazy because it is so worth it.

6. Serve warm with a tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil, some pumpkin seeds (freshly roasted) and sprinkle of dried oregano.

Bon Appétit!!!

Enjoy the autumn and don't miss Pumpkin Season ;)