Pumpkin & parmigiana soup

Pumpkin soup served in a pumpkin, what could be better for Halloween?  This is a real centre piece and crowd pleaser that I have been making for years and my kids still love it.  There are a few tips I’ve learned along the way to get this right.  Before you do anything, pick the right pumpkin.  It should be fairly stable so it will sit nice and upright on the table.  This recipe uses a medium to large size pumpkin.  I also save the rinds from parmigiana or grana padano and pop them in the freezer ready to add to this recipe (it adds a beautiful rich flavour to the soup).

Pumpkin and parmigiana soup Pumpkin and parmigiana soup

INGREDIENTS (serves 6 to 8)

  • 1 large red onion, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 large leek, washed, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 celery heart (or 3 or 4 stalks) washed, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 medium to large pumpkin, see preparation instructions below
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.2l water
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 or 3 rinds of parmigiana or grana padano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

To prepare your pumpkin, you need to slice a nice wide top (this makes it easier to scoop out the flesh and to serve the soup).  We have a pumpkin scoop to help remove the flesh and leave enough to ensure the pumpkin wall is leak proof.  Add the pumpkin to a pan.  At this point, you need to place the top of the pumpkin onto the main part and put in the fridge (this will keep it nice and fresh while you are preparing the soup).  Add all the other ingredients to the pan, including the bay leaves and parmigiana or grana padano rinds, then pour in the boiled water.  Bring the water to the boil again and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes.

Pumpkin and parmigiana soup Pumpkin soup served in a pumpkin

Allow the soup to cool and scoop out the bay leaves and rinds before blending.  I prefer to blend with our Breville Active Blend which is a bit more effort because the bottles are narrower, but it’s worth it as it produces a silky smooth soup.

When you are nearly ready to serve, remove your pumpkin from the fridge and rinse the inside using some cooled down (but still warm) water from the kettle. This will remove any remaining loose flesh, warm up the pumpkin and check it’s leak proof.  Pop the pumpkin on a clean tea towel and ladle the soup from the pan in situ on the table.

As always, take great care and responsibility when preparing any meals!  Happy Halloween!

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