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Spiced roast pumpkin soup with garlic croutons, feta cheese and crispy fried sage

Spiced Roast Pumpkin Soup With Garlic Croutons, Feta & Crispy Fried Sage

Serves 4-6
Author Domestic Gothess

Ingredients

Soup:

  • Approx 2kg pumpkin 4.4lb, unprepared weight, NOT carving pumpkin
  • 2 brown onions
  • 4 garlic cloves unpeeled
  • 50 ml olive oil 1/4 cup
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock 4 + 1/4 cups
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 200 ml full fat milk 1/2 + 1/3 cup
  • 2 large sprigs fresh thyme leaves only
  • salt and pepper

Croutons:

  • 200 g stale french bread 7oz, 1 small baton
  • 50 g butter 1/4 cup
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 rounded tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 rounded tsp salt

Crispy Fried Sage (optional):

  • sage leaves
  • vegetable oil

To Serve:

  • cream
  • feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. De-seed the pumpkin and cut into thin wedges, halve, peel and thinly slice the onions and spread the pumpkin, onion and unpeeled garlic over a large baking tray. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; rub the oil in so that everything is coated. Roast for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally, until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. Peel the papery skin off the pumpkin (it doesn't matter if you don't get it all) and place the flesh in a large pan along with the onion. Squeeze the garlic out of the skin into the pan; add the vegetable stock, spices, milk and thyme and use a stick blender to blend the soup until it is completely smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper and add more spices if required.
  3. To make the croutons, turn the oven down to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line a large roasting tin with greaseproof paper.
  4. Chop the bread into small dice and tip them into the roasting tray. Place the butter, oil, garlic, oregano, pepper and salt in a small pan and heat until the butter has melted. Pour evenly over the bread and toss together until well coated; spread the bread in an even layer over the tray.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes until crisp and golden then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  6. To make the crispy fried sage (if using), pour enough vegetable oil into a non-stick frying pan so that it is at least 1cm deep then heat until the oil is very hot. Place some kitchen roll on a plate. Fry the sage leaves for a couple of seconds then remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on the kitchen roll to drain. Don't fry the leaves until they go brown or they will be bitter.
  7. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of cream, some crumbled feta, croutons and some crushed fried sage.