Pumpkin soup

Who says I can’t get over things? In my uni days a staple of student life was pumpkin soup. It’s only taken me thirty odd years to be able to eat it again.

Photo: think of something orange and liquid. Hold that in your mind’s eye.


1kg diced pumpkin
an onion diced or shallots
garlic chopped
a couple of chillies chopped
ginger finely chopped or pressed, maybe 2 square inches
cooking oil – I used grapeseed oil
stock or water – I used a Massel reduced salt vegetable stock cube
can of coconut milk


In a large pot heat the oil and fry the shallots, garlic, chilli and ginger until shallots are softened. If using onion I would cook it for a while before adding the rest.

Add the water or stock and pumpkin. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, until pumpkin is soft. It doesn’t take more than 30 minutes.

Puree. Heat again and add coconut milk.

There is no given quantity for water, it depends on how much pumpkin you are cooking and what sort of consistency you want it to be. I can’t stand the thick sludges that often pass for soup and mine today couldn’t be more different from that. I want this kind of soup to be something you drink, not eat, delicate in a Simon Hopkinson ‘cream of’ soup sort of way. But if sludge is what you want, sludge is what you will get by reducing water/stock to taste.

Added in 2019: peel and sliver shallots, about 1 large one per serve of soup. Fry in ghee until caramelised. This can be done well ahead of time if you prefer. When serving the soup, add the shallots on top, each person will stir them in. They will merge beautifully into the soup, adding a complexity of flavour, complemented by a deepening of the colour of the soup. Highly recommend this addition!

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