Puree of Tomato and Pumpkin Soup
This is one of Chris Thomson’s regulars at her table over autumn / winter.
All my measurements are approximate; I cook to taste.
750 g Queensland Blue pumpkin, diced
Olive oil or butter
1 large brown onion
2.5–3 cm of fresh ginger
2–3 garlic cloves
1 red onion
3–5 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 ltr good quality vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer)
750 g tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped
1–2 medium chillies
Salt and pepper to taste
Newly chopped smoked paprika
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cold-smoked sea salt flakes
- Sauté the pumpkin in olive oil and a dob of butter on low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally – do not allow to burn.
- Roughly chop the brown onion, ginger and garlic, add to the pumpkin and continue to sauté for 5–10 minutes. Then add the red onion, roughly chopped, a few sprigs of thyme, the black peppercorns and the bay leaf and continue to sauté for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the stock. Simmer until the pumpkin is soft, then add skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped tomatoes plus the chillies. Simmer a further 10–15 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs and puree the soup in a blender, adding more stock if the puree is too thick. Return the soup to the saucepan, add a few of dashes of balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reheat gently.
- Serve topped with a dollop of crème fraîche, newly chopped spring onion and a shake or two of smoked paprika, accompanied with thinly sliced sourdough bread sprinkled with lemon-pressed extra-virgin oil and cold- smoked sea salt flakes