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Ginger Pumpkin Soup

Slices of pumpkin to be roasted

Last Sunday, France officially set the clock back an hour for “Daylight Saving”, which means I get to sleep an extra hour. It also means that we have fewer hours of sunshine during the day. It gets harder and harder to get out of my nice warm duvet in the mornings. When I go to work at 8am, it’s dark. When I get out of work at 8pm, it’s still dark. My favorite time of an autumn day is at 4:30pm when I take a short break during “le goûter” (tea break) to look at the sky swathed in orange sunshine.

Autumn seems to be orange or various shades of orange. The winter squashes have made their appearance in the markets this week. From huge pumpkins that weigh as much as I do, to gourde-like butternut squash to the colorful turban squash… orange is the color that brightens up a winter day!

Winter squashes have thick hard shells that are difficult to cut through, are totally inedible but act as protection for storage between 30 to 180 days depending on variety. Pumpkins are harvested when they are ripe. Choose a pumpkin that is firm and intact, with a dull-colored skin. It means that that the pumpkin was picked when it was ripe. If the skin is glossy, it will not have much flavor. If the skin is old and woolly, the flesh will be very fibrous. Choose a pumpkin that has its stem intact, as it will slow down the loss of moisture.

The skin of a pumpkin is usually orange and smooth. Pumpkin flesh is a deep orange yellow in color, is thick, dry, sweet but fibrous. Pumpkins are usually used in soups, desserts and jams. This ginger pumpkin soup is easy to make. The ginger gives the sweet pumpkin a little zest.

Ginger Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of pumpkin
  • 1 spring of thyme, or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of pepper
  • 1 good lug of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 small knob of young ginger, about 2 cm long, finely grated
  • 4 Ratte potatoes peeled
  • 15 g butter
  • 1 cup of stock
  • water
  • 1 cup of milk
  • nutmeg
  • Heat the oven to 180degC. Cut the pumpkin into slices about 1cm thick and 5cm wide with the skin on.
    Season with salt, pepper, thyme and olive oil.
    Place the pumpkin slices on aluminium foil and roast for 30 minutes until the edges are slightly crisp.

    When the pumpkin is cooked, let cool slightly. Slice the skin away.
    In a pot, heat the teaspoon of olive oil. When oil is hot (not smoking), add the butter and melt. Add the grated ginger and cook gently. Do not brown or burn.
    Add the pumpkin slices, Ratte potatoes, stock and water to just cover the top of the ingredients.
    Place the lid on and simmer gently for 20 mins.

    Take the pot off the heat and add the milk. Blend either using a blender or an immersion blender until smooth.
    To serve, grate some nutmeg on the soup.

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