Chef Peter Webster – Bouquet Garni
It’s Halloween! It’s hard not to notice all the decorations going up in preparation for the annual candy giveaway to the costumed kids. But it is the pumpkins I notice most, from a food point of view.
I have made pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin chili and pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese icing. With the colder weather finally approaching, my thoughts always turn to some sort of comfort food. Homemade soup is usually near the top of the list. You could always roast the pumpkin in the oven. But the peeling and slicing of the pumpkin is not always without risk. My niece almost lost a finger while making a- from- scratch pumpkin pie. My suggestion here is to invest in a can of pure, 100% pumpkin purée. It saves time and saves on bandages.
Olive oil for sautéing
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed and chopped
1 tbsp fresh chopped ginger
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped (for sweetness)
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock
1 can of pure 100% pumpkin 896 ml
1/2 tsp nutmeg, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
500 mls of cream, milk, or coconut milk
In a heavy based pot, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and carrot. Stir the onion and carrot for about three minutes to soften. Stir in the garlic, ginger, apple and celery and stir for another three minutes to soften. Add in the stock, pumpkin, nutmeg, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes if using.
Bring soup to a simmer and let simmer for about 15 minutes, so all vegetables are soft. Purée the mixture in a blender in batches and return the soup to the stove. Add in the milk and stir, adjusting the seasoning to taste. If the soup is too thick add in a little more milk or water.