A great autumn dish for vegans and omnivores!
I love this soup because it is easy to make, requires very few ingredients and is both vegan and dairy free. In addition, you can use gluten-free bread for croutons if you like. Note that soup can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to six months. The croutons can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days; depending upon the type of bread you use, they may need a quick re-crisping in a frying pan before serving. If you can’t find a small pumpkin, I suggest using a small butternut squash which can be roasted in the same fashion.
- 1 small pumpkin (3 – 4 lbs or 1.5 – 2 kg)
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil, divided
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 2 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 3 cups vegetable stock or water
- Pinch cayenne
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground sage
- 2 slices bread, cut in 1/2 inch or 1.25 cm cubes
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash the pumpkin and cut in half. Scoop out the seeds (an ice cream scoop is great for this task). Drizzle the inside and outside of each pumpkin half with a little of the olive oil then place, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. With the tip of a sharp knife, make little slits about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart all over the skin of the pumpkin.
- Roast for 45 – 50 minutes, until flesh is tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and let cook for a few minutes before scooping out cooked flesh with a large spoon, discarding skins.
- While pumpkin is cooking, start the soup by heating remaining olive oil in a medium-large pot, placed over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the apple and continue to cook for 5 minutes more, stirring often. Once the onion and apple are softened, remove from heat.
- Add cooked pumpkin to the pot along with the vegetable stock, cayenne and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir, then cover pot and place over medium-high heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 20 – 30 minutes, until onions, apples and pumpkin are very soft.
- While soup cooks, make the croutons. Heat the oil in a medium sized frying pan placed over medium heat. Add the sage and stir, then add the bread cubes. Stir them so they each get coated on several sides then cook for 3 – 5 minutes, turning often, so they become golden brown on several sides. Remove from heat once cooked.
- When soup is cooked, puree with a stick blender or transfer in small batches to a regular blender and puree until smooth. Alternatively, you can also pass the soup through a sieve or food mill.
- Taste the pureed soup and adjust seasonings to suit your preference. Reheat as needed then serve with croutons scattered on top.
Makes 4 servings.