You’ll be forgiven for groaning in boredom at another pumpkin soup recipe. Besides being cold weathers best friend alongside braised lamb shanks and mulled wine, this little staple is cracking for the digestion (naturally if its appearing here). Orange, naturally sweet, and fibrous (if you want to look at it all Western-like) pumpkin gets things, ahem, moving.
This recipe has a little jena se qua added – chestnuts, which are just coming into season and matches swimmingly with pumpkin. These little nuggets signify wood fires and alps, my Italian heritage and visible breath on cold mornings. They are one of the best things about cooler weather and my ancestors roasted them over wood fires, peeling back their woody casing exposing creamy, steaming nutty flesh. And are lovely little tonics for the Kidneys in preparation of Winter’s arrival.
Here’s how to make Pumpkin and Chestnut soup:
1/2 Jap pumpkin skin removed and roughly chopped
1 c. dried chestnuts (if you’ve got fresh even better!), simmered until tender (approx 45 mins)
3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tsp curry powder (optional)
3-4 c. Vegetable stock or water (or enough to just cover vegetables in pot)
White pepper (if not using curry powder)
1. In a soup pot at a good glug of olive oil and sauté pumpkin for 2 minutes
2. Add garlic and curry powder, pinch of salt and sauté for another 2 minutes
3. Add stock or water, bring to the boil and reduce, simmering until pumpkin soft. Taste for seasoning, adding more if necessary
4. Add chestnuts, cook for another 5 minutes
5. Using a stick blender, whizz until smooth
6. For extra smooth texture, run through a chinois
Serve with goats cheese and shoyu roasted pumpkin seeds. Here I’ve used Holy Goat’s Velouté that has a divine rim of ash and gorgeous rind.