Pumpkin Soup

I’m afraid that my mind has gone blank on creating a clever little title for this particular post. So, according to my title, what you see is what you get – WYSIWYG in computer parlance. In fact, WordPress seems to be going the WYSIWYG route, letting you type in your posts and add an italic here, or bold there, and only seeing your creation as how it will display to others without those pesky markup codes showing up. I have a confession: I like those codes. If you take a look at the underlying text, you see something like this – <i>italic</i> or <b>bold</b>. In addition, WP automatically puts in extraneous markup like &nbsp; which simply means non-breaking space, something you achieve by simply hitting the space bar – at least, sometimes it does. This particular feature drives me crazy.

By understanding the style markup codes, regardless of those irritating &nbsp; dotting your text, you get a greater flexibility in producing exactly how we want things displayed. For example, by manipulating the codes, I can get red or green, or blue or any colour inbetween for text, but also for background. I can alter the font size, add borders, and many more things. It also gives you a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes. But then, I cut my teeth on HTML long, long ago when it was the only option writing web pages. I do realize that not everyone has that knowledge, so perhaps WYSIWYG is the way most people feel comfortable writing their posts.

Sorry, I digress…or as a blog friend mentioned a little while ago, blog posts should be called little rants. But, back to the real subject at hand – Pumpkin Soup, as the post title says. S made a huge, 12 litre vat of this soup a few weeks ago for a big dinner we were hosting as I mentioned in a previous post. It went down a treat, I believe is the correct expression to describe its general reception. In fact, none was left by the end of the evening. But, don’t worry, the recipe below is for an average family as a main meal. It will produce about 3 litres, not 12.

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Pumpkin Soup
An inexpensive vegetable soup, livened with herbs and a dash of chilli peppers.

  • 1kg pumpkin or butternut squash flesh
  • 300g sweet potato (or yam)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 5-6 sage sprigs
  • 3 sprigs celery leaf
  • 5 large rosemary sprigs
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot chilli peppers (or less, to taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • balsamic glaze, optional

First prepare your vegetables. Peel the skin from the squash, cut and remove the seeds and stringy bits from the cavity. Cut into chunks. Peel the sweet potato and carrot and also cut into chunks. Chop the onion coarsely. Set the vegetables aside.

In a big heavy bottom stock pot, heat the olive oil and when hot, add the sage sprigs. Let the sage fry until it imparts its flavour to the oil. Remove the crisp sage and set aside to drain on a paper towel.

Add the onion to the oil and let it soften slightly before adding the rest of the chunks of vegetables. Strip the leaves from the rosemary sprigs and add these to the vegetables. Roughly chop the celery leave and also add this. Stir so that everything is coated in the oil. Add the stock and season with chilli peppers, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer with the lid on the pot for about an hour until the vegetables are very soft.

Purée the soup, check for seasoning. Serve hot in a wide bowl and drizzle on a little of the balsamic glaze.

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11 comments

  1. I remember the sceptical look on my American SIL’s face when we first served her pumpkin soup. She only knew pumpkin as either pig food, or product you buy in a can to make pie. She was hooked at first taste. I’m definitely a WYSIWYG person, all that code is Greek to me…

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    • Those cans of pumpkin! I remember them from my childhood. However, once I set up my own house, I started used the real thing and gradually, after being exposed to European foods, I started using pumpkin in savoury dishes. Maybe your American SIL will also open her eyes to the wonderful use of pumpkin in all sorts of dishes. Although, I have to say that the main type of pumpkin grown in the US is big, very watery and is usually reserved for jack o’lanterns. European pumpkins are firmer fleshed and are more like butternut or other winter orange squashes. They have much more flavour. So, making this soup in the US, it might be best to substitute a squash for the pumpkin.

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  2. I can’t get into those code and I find WordPress help pages mind boggling. It’s like trying to read a manual or Ikea assembly instructions. But that soup, yes, it’s in language I love and what I love best is that little trick with the sage leaves at the beginning and the glaze. Thankyou Debi

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    • The crumbled sage leaves and the balsamic glaze (the slightly thicker stuff and not the vinegar) really transformed the soup. I know that not everyone understands the html codes, but once you do, it is irritating when they are automatically applied by a machine – and sometimes incorrectly. It is a curse, really, and perhaps useless to my peace of mind to know.

      However, as Bertrand Russell said, “There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.”

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  3. Mmmm, this soup sounds wonderful! I love pumpkin and squash soups. This recipe is one I will look to when I next make that type of soup!

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    • This pumpkin soup is certainly different from most other Greek pumpkin soups which tend to use cinnamon and other such spices. I like the really herby/savoury taste of this one and I hope you do, too.

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    • Pumpkin with savoury things modifies that sweetness into something special. You are right, many vegetables are sweet and need to be paired with other ingredients for that special melding of flavours. It is a great soup and certainly not sweet!

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