Feel good food: pumpkin soup

When I was in 8 or 9 years old, I attended a cooking club at school. One afternoon, we made a delicious, German-style potato soup and I brought home the recipe. As I really liked that soup, my mother started to re-cook this potato soup for my brother and me every now and then. The soup turned out to be a little different each time, depending on what kind of vegetables were available here in Japan and which selection and balance of spices my mother felt like using that day – but delicious it was, always.

pumpkin soup - 04

Recently, I started making pumpkin soup on a frequent basis, and like my mother’s potato soup it turns out to be slightly different each time. According to my flatmates, it’s always tasty nevertheless and to me, the soup is comforting feel-good food every time. Although the ingredients can be varied depending on your taste and what you have on hand, the preparation method is always more or less the same, therefore I would like to share the basic recipe with you.

pumpkin soup - 02

Note: amounts of ingredients are approximate and can be varied according to taste or availability, optional ingredients may be but do not need to be included.

Pumpkin soup
makes one pot of soup
1 large or two small squashes (I like to use hokkaido pumpkin or butternut squash, but feel free to use whatever edible squash you like!)
1-2 onions
celery: either a good piece (200g?) of celery root or 2-3 stalks
1 stalk of leek
2 carrots
parsley or parsley root
up to 1 L oat milk
a piece of ginger, ground or finely chopped
salt, chile flakes, nutmeg
2-3 tbsps. vegetable oil or vegan butter (I always use)optional: cubed potatoes, an apple, pinch of cinnamon, white wine, ground coriander, ground cumin, curry spice mix

toppings: pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil

  • Chop all the vegetables roughly.
  • Heat oil and/or vegan butter in a large pot.
  • Put chopped vegetables into the hot oil and let fry while stirring continuously for up to 10 minutes.
  • If using white wine, deglaze the vegetables with a good dash of the wine, if not, continue with next step:
  • Fill up with desired amount of oat milk and water until all of the vegetables are covered.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for around 20-30 minutes with closed lid, until all of the vegetable cubes are tender.
  • In the meantime, peel the ginger and grate or chop very finely. Add ginger at the end of the cooking time and stir until combined.
  • Puree the soup and season with salt, chile flakes and nutmeg. If desired, add additional spices like ground coriander, cumin or curry.
  • Serve topped with pumpkin seeds and a splash of pumpkin seed oil and enjoy!

pumpkin soup - 01

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