Roast Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup

21 December 2011

Post image for Roast Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup

The following recipe is inspired by one from Nigella Christmas, a book which is always a great source of comfort and inspiration to me at this time of the year. Nigella Christmas is a colourful and calorie-filled collection of recipes which are ideal at Christmas, but also for parties and entertaining in general. Oftentimes throughout the year, I find myself cooking from this book whenever we have a large gathering, particularly since a lot of the recipes are in the “serves 16-20 people” category. Though, most of the recipes can easily be scaled down to accommodate more sensible headcounts.

Nigella’s Roast Squash and Sweet Potato Soup is a lovely update on a similar recipe in Nigella Express. Although the recipe specifies butternut squash, I instead used pumpkin which is more readily available where I live.

roast pumpkin soup 6

The vegetables for the soup are first roasted in the oven with a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg which later lend a gentle spiciness to the soup. As I could quite happily sit down to a tray of roast vegetables as a meal, I had to resist helping myself to a more than a few golden chunks of pumpkin and sweet potato as they came out of the oven.

I had initially thought that roasting the vegetables would be an unnecessary step, particularly in terms of washing up. But whilst roasting the vegetables would take a little longer than if you were to simply cook the vegetables in the stock, the end result is absolutely worth it; the flavours are more robust and the colour of the soup is more intense. And, to be honest, hardly any effort is required of you to stick a tray of chopped veges into the oven.

I think this soup will be a new favourite in our home, and not just at Christmas time.

One obvious deviation I took from Nigella’s recipe was to peel the veges. I know Nigella is a bit lazy sometimes and quite proud of her shortcuts, but I couldn’t bring myself to not peel the sweet potatoes, especially knowing in advance that they would later be whizzed up into the soup. Sometimes I am happy to eat roasted vegetables, like potatoes and sweet potatoes, with the skin on, but most of the time I find that the skin is an unnecessary and chewy obstacle to what could be a really good meal. So if you are using butternut squash and sweet potatoes in this soup, feel free to leave them unpeeled à la Nigella.

Nigella suggests freezing the soup but I have never thought to freeze soups of this kind before. Could anyone please tell me if vegetable soups like these freeze well? Do you lose any flavour upon thawing?

UPDATE

14 October 2013: I recently served this soup as a starter at a cocktail party and it was an instant hit. Poured into little espresso or coffee cups, they were a dainty surprise to our guests and it set the tone nicely for the canapés which followed. Allow guests to top up with a big jug of soup nearby.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

At Anna's Kitchen Table 21 December 2011 at 6:41 pm

You’re right- the soup is a lovely, rich colour. I must try it.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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eat, little bird 23 December 2011 at 2:22 pm

Merry Christmas to you and your family also! All the best with the Christmas cooking!

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manu 22 December 2011 at 8:25 am

I love this soup is so prange and beautiful!
Merry Christmas xoxox

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eat, little bird 23 December 2011 at 2:23 pm

Thanks, Manu! Merry Christmas to you also!

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Liz Headon 22 December 2011 at 10:30 am

The colour always says autumn to me rather than Christmas, but I certainly wouldn’t refuse a bowlful ! I can’t see any reason not to freeze: maybe my palate isn’t very sensitive but I rarely notice any flavour difference in soups after they’ve been frozen. You’re right about starting with roasting – now that really *does* make a difference to the flavour.

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eat, little bird 23 December 2011 at 2:21 pm

Thanks, Liz! I don’t have much experience with the freezer so I’m never too sure when I can freeze something. I really loved this soup and wouldn’t mind having some stashed away in the freezer!

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Anita Menon 24 December 2011 at 1:10 pm

Soups can be frozen but when you thaw them there is slight change of flavour. But that can resolved with a little seasoning and heating up. Having said that, I still prefer having fresh soups.

Lovely pictures.. and this soup looks lovely.

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eat, little bird 25 December 2011 at 7:40 pm

Thanks, Anita. I guess I will just have to try, though there is nothing wrong with re-seasoning upon heating as I tend to do that anyway. But I agree that nothing beats freshly-made soup!

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Julia Levy 24 December 2011 at 5:05 pm

This is not a favourite of mine simply because two sweet vegetable togeter make it a smidge too sweet for me. With the nice blue cheese dressing Nigella makes might indeed cut thru that sweetness. Perversely i do enjoy a very similar soup myself (Delia’s butternut squash and sweetcorn) which is also sweet but not quite as much as mind tells me this one may be. LOL strange i know! Anyway, I just made a batch and two bagfuls are happily sitting in my freezer awaiting later meals (with cheese and ham muffins of course) and it freezes beautifully and tastes no different just as i imagine this wouldn’t.

i make and freeze all sorts of soups, in fact my christmas ham stock will soon be turned into Nigella’s wonderful split pea soup and frozen too!

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Julia Levy 24 December 2011 at 5:05 pm

ps – stunning photos again of course.

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eat, little bird 27 December 2011 at 9:36 pm

Hi Julia,

Thank you!! :-)

That’s interesting that you say that this soup is too sweet. I initially wondered the same but quite like the combination of pumpkin and sweet potato. I have yet to try it with the blue cheese dressing, mainly because I’m worried that it will spoil a good soup!

Pea soup with ham stock is always a winner. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find ham hocks in Zurich, though I should see if I can order it from the butcher. Hope you are enjoying the festive season!

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Sherry 10 January 2012 at 4:12 am

Ooh. I will have to try this. I love, love, love all things pumpkin and sweet potato. I’ve also been roasting veggies more often and it is so easy, especially when you line the pan. Now if I can get Lyla to enjoy these veggies.

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eat, little bird 10 January 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hi Sherry! Lovely to see you here!

This soup is super easy, and I agree with the tray liners – definitely use those here as the pumpkin and sweet potato both caramelise on roasting which can make the cleaning up a bit of a bother. I made this for our New Years Eve dinner and our friends’ 2 yr old loved the soup! I guess it is sort of baby food texture (so easy to eat) and sweet at the same time, so hopefully Lyla will like it :-)

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Emma 31 January 2012 at 2:03 pm

Fine to freeze soup. Funny story – I am presently commuting to work in our nation’s capital (1 hr 30 mins each way (I have a driver- – poor man must think that I don’t have a bathroom – even cleanse, tone and moisturise in the car!!) so have been cooking extras and freezing them – so the freezer was full of all sorts of meals to save me cooking when I get home each eve. On a recent trip to oz, I told G that he could eat a couple of things from the freezer while I was away. I got a txt msg from him after I’d only been away for several days telling me that he’d eaten EVERYTHING and how lovely I was to show him my love by leaving so much food for him!! How could I get cross at that?! So our freezer is empty. And we are eating a lot of sashimi from our local : )

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eat, little bird 2 February 2012 at 5:55 pm

Aww how sweet!! Ha ha … sounds like something my hubby might do also! But then, I’m not as organised as you to cook so much in advance. Sashimi doesn’t sound so bad though ;-)

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Tania 29 September 2012 at 3:55 pm

I freeze soups all the time they are a great standby for lunch, or when your day has gotten away with you and dinner time is looming or just when you can’t be bothered. I freeze in specific cup lots so two cups (good lunch for 1) 4 cups dinner for two etc. Will try this one I have done a roasted tomato soup before and that was delish so I am sure this will also be yum.

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eat, little bird 1 October 2012 at 1:35 am

Oh that’s very helpful! Thank you :-) I always forget to measure what a good portion is per person. I was thinking of making this soup again recently as pumpkins seem to be coming into season – I can’t wait!

I’ve also been meaning to post a recipe for roasted tomato soup … as with this pumpkin soup, the flavours are so much more intensified when the tomatoes are roasted, resulting in a really delicious end product. In fact, I won’t make tomato soup any other way now.

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Paula 5 October 2012 at 4:25 pm

I’m not the best friend of soups and purees, but if there’s pumpkin, tomato or potato, things change!! And the touch of cinnamon and nutmeg must be perfect!!

And this one looks great!! It reminds me a Lasagna from Lorraine Pascale with sweet potato and pumpkin that I want to try soon!!

And the Nigella Christmas always catch my attention (Have I just invented that term???), but I prefer not to buy it, cos I know I wouldn’t do the recipes.
When it comes Christmas, I tend to follow recipes from some blog, traditional recipes from other books more specific to some country, I don’t know how to explain. I’m a romantic :P

I’m sorry, but I have to say again: I love the photos!! Can’t understand you make cute even a soup!!!!

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eat, little bird 5 October 2012 at 4:52 pm

Thank you, Paula :-)

I adore pumpkin soup and this one happens to be really good because roasting the pumpkins and sweet potatoes first really adds a lot of flavour.

I can understand how you feel about Nigella Christmas, but you would be surprised by how many of the recipes are useful for throughout the year, not just at Christmas. If anything, it’s a good book for entertaining and you can always scale the recipes down for smaller servings. But I am a bit of a researcher too – I like to read about similar recipes from other blogs or cookbooks, see how they differ, what I can do to chop and change things …

P.S. “catch my attention” is definitely an English phrase which you have used correctly :-)

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Dorothée 12 October 2013 at 12:40 pm

I freeze my soup every week..otherwise I would have to make it every day…:-)
Merci pour la recette :-)

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