Homecoming Pumpkin Soup

Serves 4-6 17 February 2022 Dairy Free Gluten Free Vegetarian Friendly
Homecoming is easier when there’s a little comfort on the horizon. Last week I returned from a short stint in LA. But leaving behind those blue skies and that golden light requires some serious protective landing gear as I touchdown and embrace London’s finest February elements. A steaming bowl of warm, creamy soup is just the hug I need to welcome be back into the fray.

I don’t know about you, but without instant nourishment on hand, I am at high risk of forfeiting any calm I may have acquired within moments moments of walking through the door. Fully aware of this potential pitfall, I try my best to cope ahead.  In my world, this translates as cook ahead. 

Roasted Pumpkin Soup is my current coping ahead solution. Resplendent, sweet soul food that roasts while the oven cranks on any given night of the week, then blitzed and stored (preferably in the freezer) for the emergency comfort meal. This soup provides instant feel good (and sustenance) on literally a moments notice.  

There are infinite ingredient options and flavour variations of roasted vegetable soups. I hope you will just use this as a jumping off point for cooking up all your best loved hearty winter loot or using up the end of the week collection lurking in the bottom of the fridge. As always I will include as many flavour combinations in the notes with the recipe below, but I would also love to hear about your favourites. You know how much I love a recipe exchange.  

Happy winter warmers people.  Here’s your hug in a bowl (and a welcome home treat).  

These are very loose, vague quantities here.  Pumpkins vary greatly in size, so just use what you have and season with reckless abandon – they will absorb the flavours beautifully.

I used Jarrahdale Pumpkin (one of the gorgeous grey skinned variety) here, because I love the sweet flesh and its really the perfect texture.  But you can use any orange flesh beauty that you can get your hands on…..butternut, kaboocha, red kuri (another prize winning fave)…the list goes on….

If I have any lying around I often add a sweet potato or two for added creaminess (and because I love them).  Bonus: the skins get so crispy and caramelised in the roasting process, they bring the welcome gift of an incredible chefs snack.

I have made a version of this on countless occasions, with almost as many different flavours. Here I used my last tablespoon of my most loved harissa and rose pot of seasoning, but a simple sprinkle of Aleppo pepper, fresh thyme or bay leaves and allspice also works a treat, as does bahrat spice or a cinnamon and ginger mix.  Or add a little ginger or roasted spring onions. For an even creamier option, replace some of the stock with coconut milk.  

The quantities here are VERY approximate……this is less of a recipe and more of an ingredient suggestion.  If you have a bigger pumpkin or more squash, make more soup, if you have a smaller variety, still make it!  

Roasted Pumkin Soup

  • 1.5kg (approx. half a pumpkin) grey Jarrahdale pumpkin or any other variety of your choice.
  • I large sweet potato (optional)
  • 2 banana shallots or 1 medium onion
  • 2 bay leaves or a handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp harissa seasoning (see above for other options)
  • a good 3 finger pinch of salt
  • a good grind of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp (approx, basically a goo glug) of olive oil, or garilc oil if you have any to hand
  • 1.litres (6 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
  • A dollop of creme fraiche, sour cream or Greek yoghurt to serve

Preheat oven to 200C (400F)

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scoop out the pumpkin seeds (feel free to reserve them, dry them, and roast them, but no judgement if you don’t).  I cut my half a pumpkin in half to get more golden caramelised edges, but its not necessary.

Cut your sweet potato in half lengthways (if using) and shallow score the flesh in a criss cross pattern.  This allows any moisture to escape more easily and extra caramelisation.

Halve the onions, leaving the root in tact and the skins on (this will hold their layers together as they roast)

Place all the cut vegetables onto the lined baking sheet Sprkinle the harissa seasoning, salt and pepper all over the pumpkin and sweet potato, adding the salt and pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil.  Rub it all in to make sure they are fully seasoned.  

Turn the pumpkin and sweet potato flesh side down, tucking in the onion and bay leaves into the cavity of the pumpkin.  

Roast for 45-60 minutes, until the flesh is super soft, the skins are blistered and the cut sides will be very caramelised.  

Scoop out all the bright orange flesh and separate the onions from their skins and roots.  Discard the bay leaves or thyme sprigs.  

If you have a high speed blender, blitz all the roasted ingredients with the stock in 2 batches.  If you have a handheld blender, place all the vegetables in a pot with the stock and blend.  

Serve with a dollop of either creme fraiche, sour cream, Greek yoghurt or simply a good squeeze of lemon, a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil and of course a side of thick toasted sourdough.  



Have you made this dish?

Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on info@buildingfeasts.com