Adventures in Food – Tomato, Pumpkin and Basil Soup With Daikon

What to do with four large pumpkins after you’ve made pumpkin pie?

One of our challenges at MeddwlCoed is to come up with new recipes for the things we grow so we don’t just eat the same old meals with whatever happens to be in season. Soups are good because you can experiment, and experimenting led to Roz’s lovely Broad Bean Soup earlier in the year.

So having made a pumpkin pie a few weeks ago, my eyes turned to the next pumpkin on the ripening shelf. What could I do with it?

Well, this uses a whole pumpkin and also daikon, which I’ve substituted for carrots here because I’m not very keen on carrots and also haven’t managed to grow any with any success (yet!).

 

Tomato, Pumpkin and Basil Soup with Daikon

Serves 4-6

 

You will need

Large Stock Pot

Blender

 

1 small-medium pumpkin

2 cans of chopped tomatoes (you can use fresh if you have them. We don’t. #tomatofail )

900ml of vegetable stock

1 large or 2 small Daikon radish (mooli)

1 onion, finely chopped

Generous handful of button mushrooms, finely chopped

2-3 chopped garlic cloves or a big squirt of garlic puree

Dried Basil.

Cooking oil or butter

1tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

Sprinkle of paprika

1tsp sugar

 

Method

Quarter your fresh pumpkin, scoop out all the stringy pumpkin guts and seeds and set them aside for other recipes.

Cut pumpkin into large chunks, put in the stock pot, add enough water to cover it and bring to the boil. Boil for about five minutes, then drain and set aside to cool (this can be done well in advance)

When pumpkin chunks have cooled remove the peel with a sharp knife and put them back in the stock pot.

(This is also how you prep a pumpkin for several recipes, including pumpkin pie)

Dice the daikon finely (no need to peel it, the peel is very thin and apparently has lots of good nutrition in it) and chuck it into the stock pot with the pumpkin.

Make up 900ml of vegetable stock (two stock cubes) and pour it into the stock pot. You can also use chicken stock but I wanted to make this veggie, so chicken stock was out!

Bring it to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approx. 30 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and mushrooms until nicely browned.

Once onions and mushrooms are browned add the tomatoes to the frying pan, and chuck in the garlic, paprika and the basil according to your tastes. Heat for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the contents of the frying pan to the stock pot with the pumpkin in it, and blend. You can transfer to an actual blender, or you can use a stick blender. Blend to a consistency you like, whether that’s smooth or lumpy!

If you’ve used a blender, then once you’re done transfer back to the stock pot. If you’ve used a stick blender then you’re good to go.

Add salt, black pepper and sugar. Bring the soup back to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve this warming, hearty autumn soup with garlic bread or fresh croutons.

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