Here in the Southern Hemisphere it’s mid-autumn and nearing winter so it seems to be the perfect time for eating and talking about soup. Today I’ve got a lovely recipe for it from Peter Gordon who is a fantastic NZ chef and food writer, and who is in my top ten of favourite food personalities. My Mum and I have been making this quite a lot at home; the last time was probably the fourth within three weeks; anyway it’s absolutely delicious, it’s warm, rich and has a great depth of flavour, so I thought I’d have to post it on the blog. And for people in America and Europe, I’d recommend that you book mark this for the icy months later in the year. This really is a treat. Note, as said in the recipe below, this would also be delicious with butternut squash. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure it would be gorgeous.
This recipe has been extracted from Peter Gordon Everyday, published by HarperCollins. You should find it available from most good booksellers, including Amazon, the book depository or fishpond.co.nz
Pumpkin, Ginger, Chickpea and Cheese Soup – “This chunky soup could almost be a meal in itself as it’s robust, wholesome and very tasty. I love to put chickpeas in it, but you could also make it with cannellini, flageolet or butter beans instead.” – Peter Gordon
1 large white onion, peeled and sliced
1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and chopped
2 good pinches of saffron, or ½ tsp of ground turmeric (I always use turmeric here, it adds even more yellowness to the soup and is more easily on hand)
600g of pumpkin or of butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
600ml of vegetable stock
1 x can of Italian garbanzo chickpeas, drained and rinsed well under tap
200ml of single cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
600g of grated cheese, (if you feel like it, try an aged cheddar or pecorino here. It will add a further depth to the flavour of the soup)
100ml of sour cream
bit more freshly ground black pepper
1.Sauté the onion, leek, garlic and ginger in the butter over a low heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until everything softens and wilts.
2.Add the saffron (or turmeric), pumpkin or squash and half the stock, then cook over a low heat with the lid on until the pumpkin or squash is almost cooked. Mash it with a potato masher – it doesn’t need to be smooth.
3.Add the drained chickpeas, the remaining stock, the cream and plenty of coarsely ground pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer with the lid on and cook for 15 minutes.
4.Season with salt and add nutmeg to taste. Stir in the cheese and ladle into piping hot bowls. Dollop on the sour cream and snip a few chives over top.
Peter Gordon Everyday (A review of this particular book will appear in the book reviews section of this blog soon)