Pimp your pumpkin soup

30th June 2023

In winter, pumpkins are readily available and relatively inexpensive. But are you tired of the same old pumpkin soup recipe? Don’t let the blandness of traditional pumpkin soup bring you down. Instead, pimp your pumpkin soup up and take it to the next level!

First, let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the history of pumpkin. Pumpkin is believed to have originated in South America and was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus. Māori ate gourds in pre-European Aotearoa, a member of the pumpkin family, so its history here is long too. The name “pumpkin” is derived from the Greek word “pepon,” meaning large melon. The French changed it to “pompon,” the British changed it to “pumpion,” and the U.S. colonists changed it to “pumpkin.” The Māori word for pumpkin is “paukena”.

When it comes to storage and handling, make sure to store your pumpkins in a cool, dark, and dry place. If you’ve already cut it, be sure to remove the seeds and store it in the fridge. As with all fresh produce, handle with care and give it a good wash before eating.

Did you know that the terms “pumpkin” and “squash” are often used interchangeably? Pumpkin generally describes winter squash, which are hard-skinned, hard-fleshed mature fruit. There are numerous varieties of pumpkin, including butternut, acorn, kabocha, and sugar pumpkin. Now that we’ve covered some pumpkin basics, let’s get back to pimping your pumpkin soup. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Add some spice: A little bit of cumin, chili, or curry powder can give your soup some extra kick.
  • Creamy goodness: Add a dollop of cashew cream or coconut cream for a creamier consistency.
  • Crunchy toppings: Top your soup with toasted pumpkin seeds, homemade sourdoughcroutons, or even bacon bits on your FastTrack off day.
  • Sweeten it up: A touch of maple syrup or honey can bring out the natural sweetness of pumpkin.
  • Go savoury: Add some sautéed onions or garlic for an added depth of flavour.
  • Protein pump: Add chickpeas or tofu to your soup for an extra protein boost.

Don’t let boring pumpkin soup bring you down. With a little creativity and some basic ingredients, you can turn your pumpkin soup into a delicious masterpiece!