Autumn in Paris is beautiful, especially in the parks. People soaking in the last warm rays of sun, reading their books on Sunday mornings. No stress and no rush. The light is golden and the colors are just incredible – sunny yellows and oranges, jewel-tone reds and warm browns – all in one place, like the colors of the fall fashion collections.
In food terms, autumn speaks pumpkins, chanterelle mushrooms, apples and figs to me – all of them in the color palette of the changing nature. I love the markets full of colorful pumpkins at this time of the year and I adore pumpkin soup. The beautiful orange color is perfect for brightening up any autumn day and it’s so easy to make, like all soups. The hardest part is actually cutting up the pumpkin, you need a good knife and a bit of arm strength for that. But once this is done, it’s really a piece of cake and you can whip up a delicious soup in no time!
For the soup (serves 6-8 people)
1/4 of a pumpkin (about 1,5 kg)
One medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon coconut milk per serving
Pumpkin seeds for garnish (toasted are the best!)
Peel the quarter of a pumpkin and cut it into larger cubes (about 2 cm). If necessary, scoop out the seeds (I usually buy a piece of pumpkin where the seeds have already been removed).
Chop the onion and the leak. Heat up the olive oil and cook the onion and leaks for a few minutes, until they become lightly golden. Add the pumpkin cubes and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add water to cover the pieces of pumpkin. Add salt and pepper and let cook for about 10 minutes in a covered pot, until the pumpkin is tender.
Add the freshly grated ginger and minced garlic and then blend the mixture until smooth, either using a hand mixer or any other kind of blender. If needed, add more salt and pepper until you achieve the desired taste. This soup has a mild, slightly sweet taste, so no need to overuse the spices.
Place the soup into bowls and add about a teaspoon of coconut milk to each bowl for extra creaminess, garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and crushed toasted hazelnuts. Toasting them lightly adds extra crunch and brings out their flavor. You can easily freeze any remains of soup. It’s great to have a home-made ready-to-eat dinner in the freezer when you come home starving after a long day at work!