This is the first recipe for the month of December, the end of a very eventful and busy year…and it’s cold. Well, not as cold as parts of continental Europe – it was a balmy 18°C today on this little island – but the temperature does go down a bit as soon as the sun goes down. This, to me, means snuggling on the sofa, cosy throws, candles, Christmas lights (something of an obsession of mine), binge-watching episodes of The Crown, roasts, baking and bowls of soup with warm, crusty herb bread.
The best thing about making soups is that in general they don’t take a lot of time to cook. Also you could throw anything at them and they’ll turn out fine. It’s OK to have a good recipe to hand, or at least a guide on what you can do, but really there’s no need of that either. Many are those times when I just open the fridge and choose a selection of what there is in there. I’m sure you, like myself, finished up the last of your vegetables by concocting a magical recipe, off the top of your head, making room for the next fresh shop. I don’t keep notes on the results of these raids (I will try to do so from now on). I did, though in this instance and here it is.
- 500g pumpkin, chopped into large chunks
- 200g sweet potatoes, chopped into large chunks
- 200g carrots, top and tailed, peeled and chopped into chunks
- ground cumin
- ground ginger
- freshly ground black peppercorns
- pinch of salt (optional)
- regular olive oil
- around 2 litres good vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the chopped pumpkin, sweet potatoes and carrots in a large roasting dish lined with kitchen foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle the cumin and ground ginger on top of the vegetables (eyeball the amount and use to your liking), together with the salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil, distributing it well on top of all the vegetables. Using your clean hands give everything a good mix in the roasting dish itself. Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes, or until the vegetables turn soft.
When the vegetables are ready, tip them in a large pot, and pour in the stock. Simmer over low heat for around 15-20 minutes. Blend the soup in the pot using a stick blender, or very slowly pour not-to-large quantities in an upright stand-alone blender.
Serve into bowls and garnish with some parsley or coriander, and a glug of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Or better, use chilli or garlic infused oil if you have this to hand.