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Spiced roast pumpkin soup with garlic croutons, feta cheese and crispy fried sage
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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 ¼ cup
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock 4 + ¼ cups
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 200 ml full fat milk ½ + ⅓ cup
  • 2 large sprigs fresh thyme leaves only
  • salt and pepper

Croutons:

  • 200 g stale french bread 7oz, 1 small baton
  • 50 g butter ¼ 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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To make the croutons, turn the oven down to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line a large roasting tin with greaseproof paper.
  • 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.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes until crisp and golden then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • 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.
  • To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of cream, some crumbled feta, croutons and some crushed fried sage.