I wrote about soup way back in 2008 and called it an Intrinsically Good Thing, which I still think is so true. Different cultures around the world have been making and eating soup for millennia. Some of our favourite dishes these days are what the peasants would cook to make do - using every part of the animal (like the bones for stock) and the seasonal vegetables available. Soup is a great way to make limited ingredients stretch further. Most importantly, it’s a comfort and a remedy for the things that ail you. From the bright fresh flavours in a Vietnamese pho to a hearty bowl of Italian minestrone, soup is a Good Thing.
I was struck down by a bad cold a few weeks ago when the autumn weather started to turn chilly, and my lovely housemate K made me a chicken soup that was heavy on the turmeric and ginger. Both are super spices - turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and ginger is fantastic for your immune system. Since then I’ve been thinking that adding them to a pumpkin soup would not only be good for you, but also delicious. Pumpkin is in season - cheap and delicious right now, so the timing was perfect.
I think roasting the pumpkin first is an essential step, which gives it an enormous depth of flavour and brings out the natural sweetness. I used homemade chicken stock. It’s really easy to make - would you be interested in a step by step recipe? If you don’t have time for homemade, use a good quality store bought one. I also added some other spices that are best friends with turmeric and pumpkin like ground cumin and some fennel seeds and sumac to garnish. This soup is a delicious and simple dinner packed with so many great ingredients for keeping healthy through the long winter.