Some dishes take you by surprise. In the middle of a quiet dinner, they grab you and force you to sit up and take notice. It's even more surprising when that dish happens to be soup. It happened so at a dinner with my friend Chris. We started off with his lovely homemade bread and salad and then he brought this soup in. A soup with punchy flavours that also freezes well. I eventually got the recipe off Chris and I now make this often, leaving bowlfuls in the freezer for a rainy day. You should too!
250 grams yellow pumpkin, cut into chunky cubes
250 grams potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and sliced
1 leek stem, washed, cleaned and roughly chopped
1-2 celery stalks, washed, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Roasted pumpkin seeds and dill to garnish
Find the largest saucepan you own and heat the olive oil in it. Add peppercorns, roast for 10-15 seconds in the oil and add all the vegetables to the pot. Give everything a good stir, then add enough cold water to cover the vegetables.
Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes and the pumpkin are soft. Blitz everything with a blender into a thick, creamy soup. Add a tsp of salt (or enough to suit your taste) and check if it's thick enough for your liking. If not, put the soup back on the simmer for the water to evaporate and for it to thicken.
Serve topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and sprigs of dill. Makes a great wholesome meal with some toasted sourdough bread.