Pumpkin soup is very easy to prepare, and it has so much richness and flavour. The fibre, potassium and vitamin C mean that pumpkin is actually very good for the heart, too The success of this dish depends very much on the variety of the pumpkin. The best I have found is ‘Potiron Muscade’, which is quite large, relatively flat, with dark brown skin and very pronounced curves. You could replace the pumpkin with butternut squash if you prefer, and I would suggest serving the soup with a generous serving of crème fraiche. This easy soup can be prepared one day in advance.
On medium heat, in a 25cm saucepan, soften the onions in the butter for approximately 5 minutes without colouring.
Add the diced pumpkin and soften for approximately 6-8 minutes, stirring from time to time. The softening with the butter will bring out the sweet flavour of the pumpkin.
Add the milk and bring to simmering point and simmer for 10 minutes. If you boil the milk too long it will separate, so cook very gently.
Liquidize the soup until it reaches a smooth velvety consistency. Season with salt, pepper and caster sugar if needed. Serve in a warm soup tureen with a touch of crème fraiche if desired.
If you would like to make a vegan version of this soup, simply substitute the butter for olive oil and change the milk for a vegan option such as water, almond milk, soya milk or - my personal favourite - oat milk.
A couple of tablespoons of Kirsch (cherry alcohol) boiled for two seconds is a classic addition. Some grilled croutons topped with gruyere cheese would be a delicious accompaniment. Toasted pumpkin seeds or hazelnuts can also be added to the dish. Finely chopped chives would add a little colour and texture.
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Copyright Raymond Blanc 2018. Photo by David Griffen.