Roasted White Pumpkin and Leek Soup with Apple and Sage
This is a beautiful Fall soup with an amazing rich and creamy taste, with lots of flavours that come together in a restaurant quality soup.
I had purchased some white pumpkins this year as part of my front door display for October, which included an orange pie pumpkin with some gourds. So when Halloween was finished I decided to confirm I could eat the white pumpkins first, because I never had them before. Here in North America we generally are exposed to orange pumpkins for Halloween, where as other countries are quite used to white (Lumina) pumpkins. So I decided that this would be great in a soup.
If you want that rich extra flavour in your soup roasting the pumpkin is one thing you want to do.
Preheat the oven to 375. Ready a large cookie sheet, or two may be necessary.
First you want to wash the outside and cut your pumpkins in half. Scoop out all of the seeds and stringy stuff. A really easy way to help with this is by using the lid for a mason jar. It has sharp edges and grabs that slimy stuff way better than using a spoon or something crazy. Keep your seeds for roasting!
Set each half of a pumpkin round side down, cut side up, onto the cookie sheet. No need to oil or season the pumpkins. I found that the white pumpkins were thicker than the orange, so the cooking time was shorter for the orange ones. Basically I set the timer for 30 minutes, and continuously checked them every 10 minutes with a fork checking for tenderness.
Once they are tender, remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. You can than scoop out the pulp as close to the skin as you can. Set aside four cups for your soup. You can measure two cup portions into freezer bags to use for any other recipes requiring pureed pumpkin. Just take it out of the freezer and thaw, use the same as you would canned pumpkin.
Now for the soup!
This is an amazing use of pumpkins, white pumpkins for soup. It is rich and creamy and delicious! Roasting the pumpkins adds a rich warm flavour and all of the other spices and flavours definitely make it comfort food.
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin, extra for finishing
- 2 tbsp butter unsalted
- 1 cooking onion diced
- 1 leek cleaned and diced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 large honey crisp apples or 3 medium
- 8 leaves fresh sage
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1/2 cup white wine chardonnay
- 4 cups white pumpkin puree or canned or roasted chunks
- 4 cups chicken broth no salt or reduced salt
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
- 2 tbsp maple syrup the real stuff
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt or half and half cream
- 1/4 cup shredded double smoked cheddar to serve
Once your pumpkin is roasted and pureed or chunked you can start prepping your ingredients, as it all comes together fairly quickly.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once melted add the onion and leek. Saute and stir until translucent but not brown.
Stir in garlic, ginger, apples and sage. Increase temperature to medium high, stir everything until mixed well - only about a minute.
Add in wine and cook stirring periodically, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the pumpkin puree, chicken broth, maple syrup, red pepper and nutmeg. Season with ground black pepper and 1 tsp of salt. Heat until steaming. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until apples are tender.
Remove from heat and stir in plain yogurt or half and half cream. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternately you can use a blender, in batches, and carefully. I am no good at this, danger danger...and I hate the extra dishes it creates. Splurge on the immersion if you can.
TASTE IT! Its really important, now is the time to add some salt if you think its bland. The red pepper flake and some added ground pepper may be all you need, some sensitive eaters may think this is spicy as is...crazies.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some grated double smoked cheddar. You can add toasted pumpkin seeds/pepitas or homemade crouton, topped with a sprig of parsley.