Roasted Pumpkin and Kumara (Sweet Potato) Soup with Coriander Pesto


It's been a grey old crappy day today, and just started raining. Excellent - the perfect evening to enjoy this soup which is rich and satisfying, with a bit of sparky life from the coriander pesto, and watch a couple of recorded programs on TV. Now ...which one first - the final of Project Runway or the Christmas Special of Downton Abbey...........? (I originally posted this last year, but felt it was time for an update - it also gave me a good excuse to freeze some batches to take down to Henry in Wellington tomorrow. Whether you're a northern hemisphere dweller enjoying the autumn or a southerner like me (enduring gale force winds and waiting for spring!!!) I hope it takes your fancy!

If you haven't yet, come on over and visit me on my Facebook page - I'd love to hear your foodie thoughts!

2 onions, chopped
1 kilo pumpkin, chopped into roughly 5cm chunks
500g kumara (sweet potato) chopped into roughly 5cm chunks
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp runny honey
4 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3-4 cups good quality chicken or vegetable stock (start with 3 and add more if you want a more liquidy soup)
1/2 cup cream or creme fraiche
1/2 cup cream, optional

Coriander Pesto:
2 handfuls fresh coriander leaves
1/4 cup pinenuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 small or 1 large garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (a little more if you want it runnier)
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

For the soup, pre-heat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and chop vegetables. Put them with the garlic in a big roasting pan and drizzle with honey and olive oil. Sprinkle over salt, pepper and coriander and roast until soft, about 50-60 minutes. While the veges are roasting put all the pesto ingredients in a blender and whiz to combine, then store in a sealed container in the fridge. When the vegetables are soft, allow them to cool for 15 minutes then whiz in batches with the chicken stock. Start with 3 cups of chicken stock then add more as you like. Heat gently in a big pan then serve soup topped with creme fraiche or cream, a drizzle of pesto and some good bread. (I would not think badly of you if you decided to add 1/2 cup extra cream to the soup for a little bit of extra I did! ) A Vitamin 'A' feast! Serves 6 - 8

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