The leaves are finally starting to change in Seattle, huzzah!
I’ve always loved soups in Autumn – okay, okay, “Fall” – and pumpkin soup was a firm favourite of mine growing up; it was one of the dishes that my Mum had nailed (another being Spanakopita – I can’t believe I haven’t posted that one yet).
Well, just my luck to marry a guy who isn’t a pumpkin fan… or a spinach fan, either, for that matter. Hmm… I kid. It’s not that he dislikes them, there’s just plenty of other foods he’d rather eat, like a spicy chili or a really spicy Szechuan dish. I like those things, too, so mostly I don’t mind the compromise but every now and then, well, once or twice each pumpkin season, I make this soup.
The recipe below isn’t exactly my Mum’s recipe, as Ev hates nutmeg. The poor soup, it just can’t win. Instead, I went for a mix of oregano and sage, as we have a handy dandy supply of those in our herb garden. I love the traditional mix of the pumpkin and sage and the addition of a little bacon and Worcestershire sauce (see notes) really brings it all home. Top nosh. Although, be warned, this soup might look light and innocent but it is definitely filling. If you’re serving it as a first course, keep the servings small. Just FYI.
PS. Apologies for the lack of “during” photos, both my camera and phone batteries had carked it.
- Butternut pumpkin/squash is given a moderate rating for GOS and mannitol in 1/2 cup serves, whereas Jap/Kent/Kabocha pumpkin (squash) is given a green light for the same amount. If you are sensitive to GOS and mannitol, go for the Jap pumpkin but otherwise, use either or a combination of both.
- Garlic infused olive oil is considered low FODMAP, as carbohydrates are water soluble, so the FODMAPs can’t leech into the oil, like it would into a water based dish. Either use store bought or saute garlic cloves with the oil and bacon (or butter) at the beginning and discard before the other ingredients are added.
- Bacon is low FODMAP, as long as no spices like onion or garlic powder are added into its cure.
- Green leek tips are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup servings. Beware the white bulb, which is high in FOS.
- A large amount of Worcestershire sauce would be high FODMAP, due to the spices at the end of its ingredients list. However, 1/4 cup in the recipe, divided by 8 servings, is a very small amount (about 1 tsp. each) and may be tolerated. If you are concerned, or cannot tolerate even a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, sub in Balsamic vinegar to taste, 1 tbsp. serving of which gets a green light from Monash. This will alter the flavour a little but will still taste delicious.
- If you want to make this paleo, use unsweetened almond milk instead of the cream and Balsamic vinegar instead of the Worcestershire sauce.
Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Soup
- 2 kg approx. Butternut or Jap/Kent pumpkin (works out to 1 large Butternut)
- 2 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced bacon (replace with 1 tbsp. butter for vegetarian version)
- 1 cup diced green leek tips
- 1.0 L of fructose friendly chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh sage
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (or Balsamic vinegar if required)
- 2 tsp. kosher salt (or more to taste)
- 2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup cream (lactose free or almond milk if required)
- 1 cup water (maybe a little more)
Preheat your oven to 200 C/400 F.
Cut the Butternut/Jap pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and go to town (carefully!) stabbing it with the knife, to facilitate even cooking. Lay the halves skin side down on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Bake in the oven for approx. 90 minutes, until a fork will easily penetrate the flesh. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until it’s comfortable to touch. Alternatively, refrigerate it until required, for up to 2 days.
In a large saucepan, heat the garlic infused olive oil and fry the bacon until crispy. Meanwhile, scoop out the cooked pumpkin flesh. Remove the bacon and set it aside for later. Add in the diced green leek tips and saute til translucent, then throw in the pumpkin flesh, chicken or vegetable stock, oregano, sage, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil for 1 minute, before reducing to a simmer for 30 minutes, with the lid on.
After 30 minutes, use your stick/immersion blender to puree the mixture until it’s completely smooth. Then, add in the cream and 1 cup water and stir through – if it needs a little more fluid, add in a bit more water. Play with the salt and pepper, until the seasoning suits your tastes. Simmer for a further 20 minutes with the lid on, before serving warm with the bacon bits sprinkled on top or keeping it on a low heat until it’s required.
I like to serve with a dollop of sour cream and some finely minced chives. A fresh slice of crusty ryce bread (or your favourite low FODMAP/gluten free bread) also goes down a treat. Dig in!
This soup, like most, is better the next day and it lasts in the fridge for five days, so you can divvy it up for weekday lunches. Alternatively, it also freezes well.