31 Oct 2010
Happy Halloween! Forget carving pumpkins – make a pumpkin soup instead! This recipe can also be made with one of the many seasonal squash that are easy to find at this time of year. I used an Australian blue squash which is similar to pumpkin, but it also works really well with butternut, kuri, onion or pumpkin. The finished soup has a lovely creamy texture and is tasty as a starter or with some crunchy cheese on toast for lunch.
Creamy squash & yellow split pea soup
2 cloves of garlic
1 white onion
1 small courgette
½ medium squash or pumpkin, 500g approx
100g yellow split peas
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 fresh bay leaf
1 Litre of good quality chicken stock
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Fresh herb oil & sage leaves to garnish
Peel and finely dice the garlic, onion, carrot and chop the courgette. Finely slice the leek and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Place a large heavy bottom pan on a low heat and add a large splash of olive oil before adding the vegetables. Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
To prepare the squash you will need to peel or slice away the skin. If using a squash with a very hard skin I normally cut it in half to start, then into large wedges before cutting away the rind. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to remove any seeds or very stringy flesh from the core. Chop the firm flesh into medium sized cubes, rinse and add to the pan with the other vegetables.
Add the stock to the pan and stir well, then add the tomato paste, bay leaf, split peas and season with a little salt and pepper. Increase the heat until the liquid begins to boil then reduce the heat, cover and leave to quietly simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The soup is ready once the vegetables have cooked through and the split peas are soft and starting to disintegrate.
Remove the bay leaf before blending the soup until smooth, add a little more water or milk if you prefer to thin the soup if it’s too thick. I used some fresh herb oil I had in the fridge as garnish along with some crispy fried sage leaves, but chopped fresh herbs, croutons, or a cheese croûte would also be tasty.