Well, we all prefer summer but then autumn gives us so much colour and… so many vegetables! So much more joy to be using fresh veggies instead of those frozen bits… My friend offered me a 4th of a pumpkin she bought on the way from her Granny’s village and so the idea of some sort of a hearty soup was born. I should have called it Cauliflower Pumpkin soup though, because there’s more of cauliflower there than of anything else, really. But the colour is that of pumpkin (plus carrots), so here it is:
Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup with Carrots and Potatoes, Pureed
- 800 g cauliflower head, broken into florets
- about 450 g pumpkin, minus the seeds and the outer skin, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- 3 T salt, or to taste
- water to fill up a big pot, about 3.5 liters (for a 4 L pot)
- stalks from fresh parsley, dill and coriander, optional
- curry powder or seasoning of your choice
- dried marjoram
- dried basil
- dried rosemary
- freshly ground pepper
- a splash of olive oil
- sour cream and herbs, to serve
We usually make some sort of a stock using leftover stalks from fresh parsley, dill and coriander – we wash and clean them thoroughly and then just boil with the water that we’re going to use for the soup, discarding them after they start loosing colour. You can skip this stage or use your stock / broth instead, just do not forget to reserve some of it (several ladlefuls).
Chop all the vegetables roughly to the same size. It will be actually easier to dish them out once they soften, when you are ready to process them in your blender. Carefully drop them in the stock / water and if there’s not enough space in the pot, take out some ladles of liquid and reserve. You can add your seasoning, salt, pepper, herbs and a splash of olive oil already at this stage. The veggies will reduce in volume as they soften and also the water will boil down, so the reserved liquid will come handy later on. When your veggies are soft enough (not too soft or you’ll have trouble dishing them out), reduce the heat to low and start processing them in your blender in batches (mine is just 500 ml, so I have to do quite a lot of batches). Pour back the puree, stir well and proceed with the rest of the veggies. You can leave some as is just for fun. When you’re finished with pureeing, add in the reserved liquid – or just any liquid – to get the desired consistency and reheat the soup to boiling point. Don’t forget to check the soup for salt.
Spicy and filling, almost puree! This pureed soup loaded with all sort of vegetables will please even carnivorous men (I mean, males) who, it turns out, tend to prefer their veggies all blended to such a degree so that they forget they are there at all. This soup will not probably give you the smoothest texture but we enjoyed it anyway (occasional bits of tiny cauliflower florets and that specific lumps from the pumpkin flesh).
Reserving some of the initial stock / broth for later is a good idea. My soup turned out really thick so I used up almost all the reserved stock / broth which helped fill up the entire pot after the thing has boiled down a bit. Also this might help if you put too much salt before pureeing…
Be careful when stirring this soup – due to its texture it attempts to splutter and spill all over. So the bigger the pot – the better (and also the taller the better too).
You can adjust this soup ingredients to your preferences but pumpkin for this time of the year is really good – and it also somehow overruns the cauliflower in its flavour!
My mother asked me to keep the pumpkin seeds. Well, her idea is to plant them. Mine is to bake some nice bread with them 🙂
And then you can add a little bit of a Russian touch to it – with some smetana, dill and dark rye bread:
My second batch came in less than a week with a little bit different set-up – more of cauliflower and a different variety of pumpkin, less potatoes and carrots, a red onion, and somehow more pepper. I used an even bigger pot this time and all of the reserved broth – and yet got a thicker soup!
Adding this recipe to the Lunch / Dinner collection.