Roasting the pumpkin might sound like a bit of a pain (you could just as easily bung everything into a pan with vegetable stock) but it’s well worth it. The pumpkin takes on a rich sweetness with roasting that simply doesn’t compare to being boiled in a pot of stock. The soup is pretty delicious on its own but, to add a little Alpine flavour, I top it all off with some fluffy edible snow (well, almost!). A little whipped cream with some caramelised onions and crunchy seeds and you have a vibrant and colourful soup to take on those dark winter days.
Onion soup is pretty much a staple on every French alpine menu.
- 1 kg chestnut pumpkin, pumpkin or butternut squash, chopped into large pieces
- 4 cloves of garlic, left whole in the skin
- 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds (or use the seeds from the pumpkin)
- olive oil
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 litre hot vegetable stock
- 100 ml whipping cream
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the pumpkin, garlic cloves and some of the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray, toss with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for 30 minutes at 180°C, or until tender. Leave to cool before scooping the flesh from the pumpkin pieces into a pot.
Squeeze out the garlic from the skin and add to the pot. Clean the seeds of any strands of pumpkin and add to a separate pan with the onion and butter. Place on a medium heat and fry for about 10 minutes until the onion begins to caramelise. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, finish the soup by adding the hot vegetable stock to the pumpkin and garlic. Blend until smooth then taste and season. Whip the cream with a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper, to taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and divide the caramelised onions and pumpkin seeds between the bowls. Add a dollop of the whipped cream to finish.
Photography by David Loftus
Recipe and image from My Little French Kitchen, Rachel Khoo (Michael Joseph, $39.99 hbk).
Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook Melbourne airs 8.05pm, Thursdays on SBS ONE until 27 July 2017.