Souper Man

[Recipe 1] MAPLE ROASTED PUMPKIN and CARROT SOUP transforms into
[Recipe 2] CREAMY PUMPKIN TAGLIATELLE with CANDIED CHILLI WALNUTS
……………..
Yeehaw, it’s Pumpkin season, and heck I love a steaming bowl of Maple roasted pumpkin and carrot soup for lunch. Roasting the veggies first brings out their sweetness, and adds a richer flavour.
Reserve some of the soup as planned-overs (look for the orange diamonds) and you can whip up a delectable Creamy pumpkin tagliatelle with candied chilli walnuts. Our youngest son calls this dish ‘cheesey worms’. Little does he know the golden colour is imparted by pumpkin, not cheese.
This is a 10-minute dinner as the sauce is prepared while the pasta is cooking. It’s like a creamy Alfredo (that word casts me straight back to Leos in Fitzroy Street in the early 90s), but with less than half the cream and lots more flavour.
The candied chilli walnuts cut through the creaminess of the pasta sauce and add a beautiful textural topping. I strongly suggest you roast double the amount as you won’t be able to stop yourself gorging on them. Incidentally, they make an excellent beer snack too!

Maple roasted pumpkin soup. One Equals Two.

[Recipe 1] Maple roasted pumpkin and carrot soup

Ingredients (makes 3.25 litres/6.9 pints):
2 kilos (4 lb) peeled chopped butternut pumpkin (you’ll need 2½ kilos whole pumpkin)
250g (½ lb) peeled sliced carrots (you’ll need 3 large carrots, approx. 350g)
3 brown onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
¼ cup (60ml) pure maple syrup
6 cups (1½ litres) chicken stock, home-made or store-bought, plus extra if required
⅛ teaspoon chilli powder
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Spring onions (scallions), or chives, thinly sliced, to serve

Preheat oven to 220°C (425ºF).
Place pumpkin, carrots, onions, garlic, oil and maple syrup into a large roasting pan and toss until well-coated. Roast for 1 hour, turning vegetables every 20 minutes.
Blend roasted veggies (and their juices) in batches, adding a little stock each time. Transfer to a large saucepan as you go. Add chilli, salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Add extra stock if you find the soup too thick.
Reserve 1½ cups (375ml) of Maple roasted pumpkin and carrot soup for the creamy pumpkin tagliatelle with candied chilli walnuts.
To serve, gently heat soup and ladle into deep bowls, scatter with spring onions and serve with crusty bread.
Divide the remainder of the soup into plastic containers, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. This recipe makes approximately 3.25 litres (6.9 pints). 4 cups (1 litre) is sufficient for four people.

  • 2¼ kilos (4½ lb) of veggies seems an obscene amount, but if you’re going to the trouble of making a pan of soup, I say why not cook up a huge pot? It freezes excellently and is great for school and work lunches. Simply defrost in the morning and pour into thermoses.

  • You can of course make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable stock.
  • Try any mixture/ratio of orange vegetables (sweet potato is lovely too), as long as the quantity adds up to 2¼ kilos (4½ lb) of prepared veggies in total.
  • We like our soup thick – feel free to add extra stock if you prefer yours thinner.

Tagliatelle with creamy pumpkin sauce and candied walnuts. One Equals Two.Candied chilli walnuts. One Equals Two.

[Recipe 2] Creamy pumpkin tagliatelle with candied chilli walnuts

Ingredients (serves 4):
400g (14 oz) dried tagliatelle
1 tablespoon (15g/½ oz) butter
2 eschalots, finely sliced
4 rashers rindless bacon, chopped
♦ 1½ cups (375ml) reserved Maple roasted pumpkin and carrot soup
150ml (5 fl oz) cream (I use light cooking cream)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, to serve
For the candied chilli walnuts:
¾ cup (approx. 75g) walnuts, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon olive oil
½ tablespoon maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon chilli powder (a good pinch)

To prepare the candied chilli walnuts, preheat oven to 220°C (425ºF). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Toss walnuts, oil, maple syrup and chilli together; and scatter on the tray. Roast for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate to cool, while you prepare the pasta.
Cook tagliatelle in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain. Return to pan and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the eschalots, stirring, for 2–3 minutes. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes.
Place reserved Maple roasted pumpkin and carrot soup in a small saucepan.
Warm gently, then gradually pour in the cream. Stir over a low heat until warmed through.

Toss bacon, onions and creamy pumpkin sauce through pasta.
Divide amongst bowls and serve immediately, scattered with candied chilli walnuts and parsley.

  • If you have some fresh sage, toss a handful of torn leaves into the butter with the bacon. Delish.
  • You can roast the walnuts at the same time as the veggies in recipe 1. They’ll keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Save on the washing up and cook a few corn cobs with the tagliatelle, to serve alongside dinner. Fish them out of the pasta pot before draining the pasta.
  • I always buy 300ml (10 fl oz) tubs of cream, and freeze the leftover 150ml (5 fl oz) cream in its tub. Allow it to defrost in the fridge overnight and use it for this recipe again; or for Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart or Chicken and leek pot pie. 150ml (5 fl oz) cream can also be used for a simple carbonara for 4 people. Fry 4–6 slices chopped thickly-sliced pancetta (or bacon) in 2 tablespoons (30g) butter. Add 150ml (5 fl oz) cream and stir until combined. Whisk 2 eggs. Stir pancetta, cream and eggs through just-cooked fettuccine until combined. Serve, scattered with parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper (or dried chilli flakes). Too easy. If you have some baby spinach leaves or peas, toss in the pot with the pasta for the last two minutes cooking time.

10 thoughts on “Souper Man

  1. Hi Sas, I made your fettucine tonight, it was a big hit! I used leftover pumpkin soup that I made last week and froze, replaced the bacon with smoked salmon, and voila, a beautiful dish for those of us that don’t eat meat. Even Noah loved it, I did have to trick him a bit and say it was sweet potato sauce (because “pumpkin makes me vomit”), but he ate every little bit on his plate.
    Thanks! x Kat.

  2. Saskia you are so clever ! Both of those dishes look delicious. Surely you must be negotiating a publishing deal right now?!

    In 2002 I went — for some strange reason — to Alfredo’s in NY where that dish was invented. A very, very weird designer 80s time warp……the food was not as memorable.

    • Thanks so much Sandra. Publishing deal – oh, I wish! That’s ace about Alfredo’s – didn’t know that dish was named after a restaurant. I loooove discovering the origins of famous recipes. Some other faves are Coronation Chicken, Chicken à la King and of course, Caesar salad! I could go on…

  3. I like to consider myself a bit of a wizz with soups being a particular favourite of mine. And I am quite intrigued by the use of maple syrup so I will make this soup with great interest. It is sure to be yum. And now since the weather has turned I am feeling a little soupy!

    • Yes, I’m quite ready for soup Season now too, although I can’t say the word ‘Season’ without lisping like Elmer Fudd. Enjoy the soup. I used to make it with honey, and used maple syrup when I’d run out of honey one day. Maple is a winner as it goes soooo beautifully with pumpkin. I just need a log fire now…

  4. I just made your sweet onion and goat cheese tart for the third time. So delicious!I made 2 and want to freeze the one left over. is that O.K. you think?
    I used smooth Greek feta made from cow’s milk, as I had no goats cheese. it turned out fine and is cheaper than goat’s cheese.

    • Hi! Although I’ve never frozen the Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart before, I’m sure it would be fine as I freeze cooked mini egg quiches all the time with great success. I allow them to defrost in the fridge overnight before gently re-heating them, covered in foil. I also always freeze an extra empty pastry tart base, especially if I’ve made the pastry myself – they freeze excellently after the blind-baking stage.

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