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Autumn meal #2 – Pumpkin soup from the oven

Autumn meal #2 – Pumpkin soup from the oven Rick Hofmijster 19 November 2016 20 November 2016
Autumn meal series

In this ‘Autumn meal’ series I’m going to make a couple of dishes using local and seasonal ingredients. I’m no chef, in fact, far from it. Many of the ingredients I’ve never known about it’s existence. But that’s the challenge! Learn to cook, experience new flavors and, well, survive!

Ingredients (2 pers.)

  • 450 g butternut squash
  • 300 g Dutch carrot (or baby carrots)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red union
  • 1 galic clove
  • ½ orange
  • 48 g hazelnuts
  • 7 g chive
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 300 ml tapwater
  • 63 ml sour cream
  • salt/pepper

Kitchen equipment

  • blender
  • baking paper

Preparation time: +/- 30min
Oven time: 45min

In North Holland, the Netherlands, most trees have lost most of their leaves by now, causing the beautiful color pallet in many forest to slowly disappear. With it comes cold temperatures that will make us shiver during beautiful autumn forest walks. When back home, it’s time for a nice warm soup. This time, we are going to make pumpkin soup.

During this time of the year, the marked is flooded with pumpkins. In the USA pumpkins are mainly used for decoration during Halloween while the Canadians have a tradition of having pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving. Now here in the Netherlands, we are going to make a not so common served dish; pumpkin soup from the oven.

Surprisingly, even tough the name only mentions pumpkin, a good amount of Dutch carrots, cocos milk and other ingredients are added. In fact, in stead of the familiar pumpkin you see carved in the streets for decoration, we are actually using butternut squash.

Butternut squash

Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that grows on a vine. Winter squash is cultivated and eating in many places in the world. For obvious reasons. Due too it’s thick shell and nature, it preserves very well during winter.

Because butternut squash is a frost-tender plant, the seeds do not germinate in cold soil. Winter squash is harvested whenever the fruits have turned a deep, solid color and the skin is hard. Most winter squash is harvested in September or October in the Northern Hemisphere, before the danger of heavy frosts.

Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. It is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium; and it is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin E.

Source: Wikipedia

Dutch carrot

Dutch carrots are very common around the world and look like how people would generally describe a carrot; orange. But did you know carrots come in a variety of colors?

Carrots are a domesticated form of the wild carrot, Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia.

The roots contain high quantities of alpha- and beta-carotene, and are a good source of vitamin K and vitamin B6, but the belief that eating carrots improves night vision is a myth put forward by the British in World War II to mislead the enemy about their military capabilities.

Orange-colored carrots appeared in the Netherlands in the 17th century, which has been related to the fact that the Dutch flag at the time, the Prince’s Flag, included orange.

Source: Wikipedia

Preperation

So you are ready to give it a try? Head out to the grocery store or, even better, get some of the products form your local farmer or greengrocer. Be sure though what to look for and perhaps ask for advise on how the determine what’s ripe and what’s not. Doing this will be rewarded with an even more tasteful pumpkin soup!

1
step 1

Ingredients

  • 450g butternut squash
  • 300g dutch carrots
  • 1 red union
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper
Preparation: +/- 15 min
Duration:  +/- 45 min
Heating the butternut squash and carrots

First things first, heat the oven to 220 °C. Halve the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and the filamentous inside with a spoon. Next, cut the green of the carrots. Place the pumpkin and carrot on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the unpeeled onions and cloves of garlic next to it. Bake for about 45 min. In the middle of the oven.

2
step 2

Ingredients

  • ½ orange
  • 48 g hazelnuts
  • 7 g chive
Duration:  +/- 15 min
Preparing the rest of the ingredients

Some ingredients for pumpkin soupNext up, peel the orange and use a sharp knife to remove the white membrane of the orange. Remove the a part of the skin of each wedge so you can easily separate the flesh from the skin using the knife. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan without oil or butter and roast the hazelnuts 3 min and let them cool on a plate. Chop the chives. Do the same with the hazelnuts and cut them coarsely.

3
step 3

Ingredients

  • all from step 1 & 2
Duration:  +/- 10 min
Blend it all

Blending the ingredientsWhen the oven is ready, let it rest for about 5 minutes to cool down. Next up, the messy part. Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin with a spoon and place it in a blender. Peel the onion and garlic and add to the pumpkin. Pour half of the coconut milk and blend it. When done, pour into a saucepan.

Cut the carrot into pieces, put the orange and the rest of the coconut milk into the blender and blend it as well. When done, add this to the pureed pumpkin in the saucepan.

4
step 4

Ingredients

  • 300 ml tapwater
  • sour cream
  • vegetable bouillon cube
Duration:  +/- 10 min
Finishing the soup

Add the vegetable bouillon cube and water and heat it up. Let it boil and cook for about 2 minutes. Season with pepper and salt. As a finishing touch, serve the soup with a spoonful of sour cream and sprinkle with the hazelnuts and chives.

Preparation

Taste

Overall

The verdict

While it’s rather easy to prepare, it does take it’s time. Knowing the little tricks on how to cut and peel helps a lot. But most of all, if you don’t have a proper blender, it can become quite of a mess. With my kitchen skills, there was pumpkin all over the place.

I never tasted pumpkin soup, or at least, not that I remember. This makes the first sip a bit scary as I had no idea what to expect. Surprisingly it tasted really, really good. It’s sweet taste offset by a very balanced bitterness made it delicious.

Proof of that is I guess that after a few sips, I ate it all in no time without even noticing it. To me, that’s a very good sign. You should be surprised and delighted about the meal in the first few bites, but after that you should be able to continue conversation without being reminded of the food with each bite.

This means I really recommend this meal, especially if you have never eaten it. I doubt there will be many seriously disliking this dish. Preparation can be a bit messy though and a perfect dish does not exist. For that reason, it’s a 4 out of 5.

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Written by

My name is Rick Hofmijster. Born in the Netherlands, I have always been fascinated by the beauty our planet has to offer. Combining sports and lifestyle I make my dream come true. Join me on an adventure, explore the regions and experience the stunning beauty of Mother Earth. What are you waiting for?