Autumn has well and truly descended upon London. Trees are undressing themselves left, right and centre, with red and gold leaves littering the footpath, and I can’t help but sigh with relief when I enter my Airbnb tightly wrapped in a scarf and beanie, and my host has the heater cranking…ahhhhh. Of course, this means one thing in the kitchen - soup weather is in full-swing.
I love soup, and can’t think of a more satisfying dish to eat at this time of the year. A bowlful is warming, comforting and nutritious; with no unusual, expensive or hard to source-ingredient needed to make something really spectacular. When it comes to soups, simple does it.
Below is a recipe for a five-ingredient, vegan-friendly and dairy-free cream of pumpkin soup. Traditionally, this soup would include dairy cream, making it not suitable for those following these dietary preferences. While a pumpkin soup sans cream is still absolutely delicious, you don’t have to forgo the creamy texture and can instead use an easy homemade plant-based concoction - that being, cashew cream. This is really simple to whip up, you just soak cashews in water for 30 minutes and blend until smooth! It adds a lovely creamy element, while not stealing flavour show - you still get a full-bodied pumpkin soup.
Cream of Pumpkin Soup
1/2 cup cashews + soaked in 1 cup water
1.2kg whole butternut pumpkin
1 brown onion
2 cloves of garlic
1L veggie stock (e.g. veggie stock cubes prepared with water, fresh pre-made stock or homemade stock)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add the cashews and water together. Leave to soak (for a minimum of 30 minutes).
Begin by cleaning the pumpkin. Carefully slice the butternut pumpkin in half. Spoon out the inner seeds, and discard. Place the flat-side of each halve down, and slice pumpkin into thick pieces from top to bottom. Then thinly slice the skin of each slice, and dice the flesh into large bite-sized pieces. Aim for each piece to be relatively uniform in size, so they’ll cook at a similar rate.
Peel onion and garlic, and discard skin. Roughly chop each.
Add to a large saucepan or soup pot the diced pumpkin, onion, garlic and veggie stock. The liquid might not fully cover everything - this is totally okay!
Bring to boil uncovered, and then reduce to a simmer until the pumpkin is tender - roughly 35-40 minutes.
Once the soup has finished cooking, blend together the cashews and water using a stick blender or food processor until super smooth. Put aside.
Blend soup using a stick blender or food processor. If you’re using a food processor, do NOT put hot soup into the blender as this can be dangerous - let is cool first.
Once soup is blended, pour in cashew cream and mix until smooth. Taste-test and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Ladle hot soup into a bowl and drizzle with any leftover cashew cream or a dollop of coconut yoghurt. Sprinkle overtop a handful of freshly chopped herbs (e.g. Italian parlsey), pumpkin seeds and a few turns of the pepper shakers.
Serve alongside with:
Vegan-friendly and dairy-free: grilled thick slices of toast drizzled with olive oil or vegan-friendly pesto (dairy-free) on toast.
Non-vegan: grilled thick slices of toast spread with butter, or pesto on toast.