A Winter Classic With A Crunchy Twist
Our Yummy Beans and charred cauli make this creamy pumpkin soup really shine.
We’ve just passed the solstice, which means the days are getting longer, but winter still has us in her grip. In Byron Bay we’ve been lucky enough to have lots of beautiful sunny days, but when night comes we still want to tuck into something warming, nourishing, and hearty. This soup is a classic. Who doesn’t think of pumpkin soup on those first cold days of Autumn?
Our Yummy Beans are packed full of delicious, stimulating, and healing ingredients, and they give a big helping of crunchy umami to everything they’re eaten with. Shitake mushrooms are crazy good for you and are also loaded with guanylate, which is basically nature’s msg.
Charred cauliflower adds more veggie goodness to this meal, helping you eat as many different plant foods as you can, every day. All those plants make your gut microbes very happy.
Enjoy this one cuddled up by the fire, with a book or a friend, and enjoy that winter magic.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 2-3cm piece of ginger, grated
- 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for garnish
- 1/2 medium butternut pumpkin (or your favourite variety)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- small shaving of nutmeg
- (optional) 1/4 cup of pepitas, toasted
- 1/4 medium cauliflower
- Fresh herbs for garnish – any combination of oregano, fennel leaf, thyme & basil will work well here.
- Big handful of our Mindful Foods Yummy Beans
In a large pot over low heat, gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger in 3tbsp of olive oil. Let it sizzle and slowly caramelise for 10-15 minutes. A little bit of golden colour is ok, but don’t let it get dark.
While this is cooking, dice your pumpkin into roughly 3cm chunks, then add to the pan, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, and just enough water or stock to cover. Remember you can always add more water but it’s harder to boil it down. Season with salt and pepper to taste. At this point you’re welcome to raid the spice drawer and see if there’s anything else you want to play with. Sumac? Hell yeah. Dried ginger? Yep, it complements the fresh ginger we used earlier. Morrocan spice blends? Follow your heart.
Simmer the pumpkin until soft, let it cool for safety, then blend either with a stick blender or a suitable upright blender like a Vitamix. Never blend hot liquids in a glass blender container, always start on low, and make sure your blender manual specifically says it’s suitable for blending hot liquids. You do not want to wear this soup.
While the pumpkin cooks, make the cauliflower garnish by getting a pan really hot, adding 1 tbsp oil, then quickly tossing the cauliflower around in it until it’s charred and just cooked through, but still a little crunchy. A wok is perfect for this but a frypan will do just fine. Throw in a pinch of salt and take it off the heat, ready to garnish the soup.
To serve, pour the blended soup into bowls, top with pepitas if using, herbs, charred cauliflower, and a big helping of yummy beans. Top it all off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for serious lusciousness.
The crunchy yummy beans are the rich and crunchy answer to this soup’s mellow comforting creaminess. Don’t be afraid to top up with garnishes as you go. Isn’t that what soup is all about?