It has taken me until today to realise that I have never shared a basic, good old fashioned pumpkin soup. I’ve shared a Moroccan inspired pumpkin soup, a Thai style carrot soup and a green pesto soup, but never a straightforward pumpkin soup. So today, with ominous rainclouds outside, I’m sharing this FODMAP-friendly pumpkin soup.
Before we begin, it’s worth discussing my ideal pumpkin soup. That is: thick, creamy and smooth. I add a little less liquid than other pumpkin soup recipes, and this is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it allows for a thicker pumpkin soup, which is my preferred variety. Secondly, it gives you the option to add a creamy finishing touch as you see fit.
RECIPE NOTES FOR THE FODMAP-FRIENDLY PUMPKIN SOUP
- I always use Kent or Japanese pumpkin to keep the FODMAP content down.
- A good pumpkin soup really hinges on a good stock base. FODMAPpers have fewer options, because stock is generally based on onion, garlic and leek (among other things). While you can use a packet stock, I highly recommend a homemade freezer stock (more on that below).
- Peanut butter is the ticket to creaminess in a vegan pumpkin soup. However, you could also use a bit of coconut milk, soy milk or even dairy if you’d like to keep it nut free.
- Soup goes incredibly well with gluten free sourdough toast. Just saying.
- I like a thicker pumpkin soup, so I prefer the 3 cups of stock version. If you like a thinner soup, add extra liquid as you see fit.
- That said, start small with the added liquid. You can always add extra liquid at the blending stage, but it’s a lot harder to fix a thin soup.
DIETARY NOTES FOR THE FODMAP FRIENDLY PUMPKIN SOUP
- For a nut free pumpkin soup, omit the peanut butter. Peanut butter is an excellent way to add creaminess to a vegan soup, but can easily be substituted for some coconut yoghurt or plant milk.
- To ensure the soup is vegan, make or use a vegan stock. This means no parmesan rinds.
FODMAP FRIENDLY FREEZER STOCK (LOW WASTE)
A few years ago, I saw an Instagram story that changed the way I thought about stock. The idea was so simple that it almost seemed idiotic I hadn’t thought of it before. Basically, all you need for a freezer stock is a container or bag, a freezer and vegetable scraps.
The idea is: as you cook and eat, you save the scraps from vegetables that would otherwise be discarded. Think tops and tails of carrots, fennel fronds, pumpkin skins, tomatoes that are past their prime. Simply throw them in the bag in the freezer, and build up the dregs until you have about a kilo worth. I also throw in a used lemon skin or two for a bit of a twist.
Another item that I highly highly recommend saving in your freezer bag is parmesan rind. Obviously this isn’t vegan friendly (but yes, vegetarian parmesan exists) but it adds a whole new level of depth to your stock. It might leave little parmesan bits in the liquid but it’s an absolute flavour bomb.
VERY LOOSE RECIPE FOR LOW WASTE FREEZER STOCK
- Add about a kilo of frozen vegetable dregs to a large soup pot. Bonus points for 2 or 3 parmesan rinds.
- To the vegetables, add around 2-3 litres of water. Place over a medium high heat and cook for 10 or so minutes.
- From here, add balsamic vinegar and tamari to taste. I like to get half of the salinity from tamari and half from salt, so don’t go too wild. Always add a little and taste before adding more. That said, if you accidentally oversalt, you can add more water to compensate (within reason).
- Once the stock is ready and seasoned to taste, drain and cool before freezing. Too easy!
OPTIONS FOR YOUR FODMAP FRIENDLY PUMPKIN SOUP
First and foremost, you can either roast the pumpkin or throw it in raw. This will affect the sweetness of the soup and also the length of cooking time. If you’re after a quick and easy soup, you can safely skip the pumpkin roasting. I think they’re equally delicious soups.
I roast the pumpkin skin on with 1 1/2ish tablespoons of oil rubbed onto the exposed sides. How this this takes to roast will depend on the size of the pieces. For two pumpkin quarters, I’d budget around an hour or a little more. For smaller pieces, it will take less time.
Other flavour options include:
- Spices of your choice, or even a teaspoon of curry paste. You can play around to find something that suits you. Personally I like just a hint of a classic cinnamon nutmeg combination, but you could also add some cumin and garam masala, fennel seed – any spice you enjoy.
- A hardy herb such as rosemary or sage, added to the liquid. Pull rosemary sprigs out before blending, though.
- An added potato or two for thickness, or some carrots for sweetness. If you add a significant amount of extra vegetables, add a little extra stock to compensate.
- Coconut cream or milk for an exotic creamy flavour. This works well with the ginger (you could also use galangal) and a makrut lime leaf or two would amplify those flavours.
- A little bit of miso paste would be a lovely vegan umami booster, as would a bit of nutritional yeast.
TOPPING OPTIONS FOR YOUR FODMAP FRIENDLY PUMPKIN SOUP
- In each of the photos, I have used some varied FODMAP friendly toppings. They include a little bit of creme fraiche thinned with lemon juice (use lactose free cream or coconut milk for dairy free/vegan options, some Aleppo chilli oil plus extra chilli flakes, some FODMAP friendly pesto and some FODMAP friendly dukkah (I used the one from my cookbook).
- Other things that are a delicious accompaniment include gluten free sourdough bread (in crouton or whole form) lemon zest, a savoury nut mix or some toasted coconut (particularly if you add some makrut lime)
- I also like using maple or honey toasted pepitas, but any nut would add a welcome crunch.
FODMAP FRIENDLY PUMPKIN SOUP
- 1.5 kg piece of Kent or Japanese pumpkin it will be around 1.2kg after skin is removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 20 g+ peeled and chopped ginger
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon asafoetida powder optional (mimics garlic and onion flavour)
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of chilli flakes I used Aleppo
- 3 cups stock
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter optional
For a roasted pumpkin soup:
- Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F and line a baking tray.
- Cut the pumpkin into larger pieces, leaving the skin on. Rub the skin with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and place it on the baking tray, skin side up, and into the oven. Bake until cooked though (this will depend on how large the pieces are but budget for around an hour or more). Once cooked, remove the skin and proceed with the ginger cooking step.
For a regular pumpkin soup:
- Cut the pumpkin into even cubes. I find slightly larger cubes easier to blend at the end if you’re using a stick blender.
- Preheat the oil in a large soup pot over a low-medium heat. Add the ginger and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the sugar, asafoetida powder and cinnamon (or any spices/woody herbs you’re using) and cook a minute more until they’re fragrant, too.
- Add the pumpkin pieces and stir to coat. Add the 3 cups of stock and stir again to pick up any caramelised bits from the bottom of the pot. I recommend leaving it at 3 cups of stock and adjusting at the end if you prefer a thinner soup – a thick soup can be corrected but a thin soup is a lot harder to fix. On that note, wait to salt the soup until the end when the flavours have melted and you can determine how salty it is already.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes for the roasted pumpkin soup, and 20-30 for the regular. Keep in mind that the secret to a good soup is uniformly cooked vegetables that will blend smoothly (without leaving thin watery bits and chunky pumpkin bits) so don’t rush the cooking process.
- When the pumpkin is completely cooked, take it off the heat. Add the peanut butter, if you’re using it. Using whatever blending tool you have on hand, blend the soup until smooth. Adjust for seasoning, and add a little extra liquid (plant milk, regular milk, cream or stock) if you want a thinner soup.
- Keep in mind: a Nutribullet doesn’t have a steam escape valve so you can’t blend a hot soup in one. I recommend a stick (immersion) blender for soup, because you have a lot of control and can season it as you go. That said, you could also use a Vitamix if you have one (I don’t).
- To finish, garnish with whatever you fancy (I used crème fraiche, Aleppo chilli oil, honey toasted pepitas and lemon zest because I’m a wanker) and serve.
- Keeps well in the fridge for a few days and also freezes well.