Pumpkin and Leek Soup

Pumpkin and Leek Soup

A true winter warmer, this soup is  hearty and delicious and stores well.  It can be frozen and reheated for lunches without losing any of the luscious flavour.

Pumpkin and Leek Soup2 leeks

500 grams of Kent or Golden Nugget pumpkin (or other suitable sweet soft-roasting pumpkin)

2 large potatoes, finely chopped (use Sebago, Nadine, Pontiac, King Edward, or Desiree varieties - these are best suited to mashing and will break down well in soup)

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic - still in skins

500mls of stock (chicken or vegetable)

2 cups of milk

Pinch of saffron, soaked in warm water (real saffron only!!!)

Pinch of nutmeg

Sprigs of thyme

1 bunch of chives, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In a hot oven, roast pumpkin with garlic, thyme  and nutmeg until pumpkin is just starting to colour.

In a deep pan (Le Creuset of course!) fry leek, garlic and celery in olive oil with a teaspoon of butter.  Butter can be omitted, however butter gives a silky texture to the soup and a better flavour.  Once softened remove from pan. 

Add milk, saffron, stock and potatoes to the saucepan and cook well until the potatoes are very soft.  Add pumpkin, leek and celery mix back into the saucepan, squeezing in the roasted garlic cloves. 

Simmer for a few minutes before blending or pulping with a stick blender to a smooth lump-free consistency. 

Bring back to the simmer, stir in salt, pepper and chives and serve with crusty bread.  For the less calorie-challenged, add a swirl of sour cream.

This soup is great for freezing, and can easily dressed up for more formal dinners with the addition of white wine and poached chicken or prawns.  If you are still not satisfied - go nuts and add chopped chillies.