As I’m writing this I’m bundled up with scarf, hoodie over my head, hot tea by my left hand and the little heater in my room working overtime as it spews out just enough heat to keep me from shivering. We’re now in the last month of winter – please let it pass quickly! I’m already having fantasies of long drives with the windows down, sunbathing and possibly my most beloved habit – outdoor dining.
But in the meantime, let’s take advantage of the produce a Sydney winter has to offer us. I had picked up a butternut pumpkin from Coles some time ago for about $1 per kilo and it had been sitting around on the floor of my kitchen amongst the potatoes and onions for a couple of weeks before I remembered it again. I roasted some of it with some rosemary and garlic olive oil as a steak side, but had about a kilo and a half remaining. With the weather so chilly, I decided to liquify it.
You will need:
- 1.6 kg butternut pumpkin, de-seeded and skinned, cut into 2cm cubes;
- 3 large cloves of garlic, skin on;
- Three sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely;
- Olive oil, for drizzling, plus an extra tablespoon;
- Half a brown onion, roughly chopped;
- 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock;
- salt, freshly ground peppercorns and thickened cream, to serve.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Line two baking trays with aluminium foil and spread out the diced pumpkin and garlic . Scatter over the rosemary and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes or so until soft.
You want to keep the garlic with the skins on so that the tender flesh doesn’t burn while it’s roasting. When it’s cooked the skin will peel back easily from the garlic like so and the flesh is now quite sweet.
Heat a large stockpot over medium heat with the tablespoon of olive oil and cook the brown onion, stirring, until soft and translucent. Add the roast pumpkin and squeeze out the garlic flesh from the skins.
Add the four cups of stock and bring to the boil. Allow it to simmer for some time until everything is pulpy and mushy before removing from heat and cooling slightly before either blending the soup with a stick mixer or pouring it in batches into the blender.
Return to the heat and stir until smooth. Add salt to taste. Once it comes to the boil, it’s ready to be served. Dollop over small circles of cream before swirling with the spoon or with a skewer if you want a nicer effect (I couldn’t really be bothered). Serve with freshly ground black pepper and cheesy Parmesan sourdough toast.
Creature comforts ❤