There’s nothing I love more than a big bowl of pumpkin soup when the weather starts to cool off! This take on a wintery classic is salty and sweet with a delightful depth in flavour bought in by the roasted veg and some mediterranean herbs.
Here I’ve used native old man saltbush, thyme and bay leaves, straight from my garden, but you can use any of the hard leaf herbs you have on hand. Sage, oregano and rosemary also work well, although go easy on the rosemary as it can be over powering.
1.5kg Butternut Pumpkin
4 Carrots, medium/large
1 Leek, white part sliced
1 Brown onion, diced
2 tbsp Olive oil
2l vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
Few sprigs of thyme
Few sprigs of saltbush
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Peel and dice the pumpkin and carrots, add to a large mixing bowl with half the saltbush, 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt and ground pepper, toss to coat. Tumble into a roasting pan and roast for 20-30 mins, until nicely browned.
2. Place a large soup pot on a medium/high heat. Add the remaining olive oil, leek, onion, thyme and a pinch of salt. Sauté until onions and leek are browned off. Pour in the stock, add your bay leaves and bring to the boil.
3. Once roasted, add the carrots and pumpkin to your pot, stir well and simmer for 10-15 mins until the carrots are very soft and the pumpkin is mushy.
4. Remove pot from the heat TAKE OUT THE BAY LEAVES and blitz the soup with a stick blender until smooth. Serve with crusty bread and a dollop of sour cream.
OPTIONAL: If you’ve used the saltbush you can make a delicious, crispy topping by adding 1 tsp of olive oil to a small fry pan, and frying the remaining saltbush over a medium high heat until lightly browned. Dab them on some paper towel and allow to cool and become crispy then crumble it over the top of each bowl before serving. You won’t regret it!