The weather is fiiiiiinally starting to cool in the evenings now here in Brisbane. Cooler weather gets me thinking all things soupy, especially Roast Pumpkin Soup. Pumpkin is such a rich and nourishing food, perfect for the cooler months. And lets be honest here, if you're going to have pumpkin soup, you really should be Roast Pumpkin Soup. The depth of the flavour is so worth the extra step in cooking. One of my favourite things to cook with is leek. The smell that will come from your kitchen because of this humble vegetable is so comforting, like a big warm hug. And who can go past a big warm hug right?
Butter used to be my favourite medium to sauté Leek with, however I have to completely avoid dairy at the moment due to Frankies allergies. I've used Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this recipe and it was still seriously delicious. But if you can use butter I would recommend it. I wanted to talk for a minute about eating seasonally, because it is really so important. Eating seasonally not only has benefits for the environment but also for our health and for our community. When we choose fruit and vegetables that are in season it means that they are more likely to have been grown closer to home. This is good for a few reasons:
- It means that they have to travel less, meaning that they are fresher and retain a greater amount of nutrients.
- Less travel means a lesser carbon footprint, which is obviously better for the planet and in the end, better for us.
- Choosing seasonal fruit and veg means that you are supporting local farmers
There are a few ways that you can tell what produce is in season. Firstly, you will notice that there is most likely an abundance of certain fruits and vegetables. This usually indicates that these items are in season. Secondly, in season fruit and veg is normally cheaper at the peak of it's season. To help reduce the guess work for you though, I've written a quick little list of fruit and veg that are in season in Autumn here in Australia.
Fruit in Season - Autumn
- Custard Apple
- Honeydew Melon
Vegetables in Season - Autumn
- Asian Greens
- Brussels Sprouts
This list is not exhaustive and may vary depending on the temperatures throughout the season but it is a guide that you can have on hand next time you hit up the produce section of the grocery store. If you are lucky enough to have a farmers market near by to buy your produce from, you are basically guaranteed to be sold seasonal fruit and vegetables.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we did and make sure you devour it with a beautiful crusty loaf of sourdough!
- 1 leek finely sliced
- 2 kg Japanese pumpkin skin removed and roughly chopped
- 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp dried or fresh oregano
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup parsley finely chopped
- salt and pepper to season
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Coat the base of a large casserole pan with olive oil and bring to a medium heat on the stove top.
- Add the thinly sliced leek to the pan and saute until the leek is tender and starts to stick ever so slightly to the pan.
- Once the outer edges of the leek become golden, remove from stove top, add pumpkin and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven after around 20 minutes to toss the pumpkin so that it roasts evenly.
- After 45 minutes, remove casserole dish from oven and place on stove top.
- Place the sunflower seeds on a baking tray and place in oven for about 10 minutes, watching closely to ensure they don't burn. Once they are lightly toasted, remove from the oven.
- Add the vegetable or chicken stock to the pumpkin and puree with a handheld stick blender.
- Serve hot topped with toasted sunflower seeds and parsley.