Beanies & scarves have taken the place of sun hats & toggs and the footy is in full swing. There’s hot chocolates & porridge, chilly mornings and weekend sleep-ins.
It’s hibernating time, including nourishment from slow cooked hot pots & puddings, so let’s get the soup cauldron out!
Cooking years ago with a school friend, I mentioned that caramelising your onions makes a world of difference. Catching up over summer, Natalie reminded me that even her girls now insist on browning the vegies before adding anything else to the pan. Winter slow cooking gives you time to stir in flavour with sauteing your mirepoix, and evenly browning your meat to add so much flavour, it’s the backbone of rich wholesome goodness that makes the most out of your recipes. Not only casseroles, but soup too.
A simple economical roasted soup recipe makes the most of the oven heat while bickies and baked dinners are in the oven.
Here’s a soup trick to save time & your sanity.
Pumpkins can be fiddly to peel, so this pumpkin soup is a doddle, WITHOUT peeling, get it in the oven while baking cakes or dinner, and your weekday lunches for the week will be sorted!
Halve lengthwise a butternut pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Lay cut side up in a deep roasting pan, add two carrots (also unpeeled) and two large brown onions, sorry, you’ll have to peel these, but simply cut in half, cut side up and into the pan as well. Drizzle the lot with about a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil, season with sea salt, pepper, a teaspoon of ground cumin & a teaspoon of ground ginger. Place in your oven on the bottom shelf for about an hour, till the onion has collapsed and a knife pierces the carrots like butter. Now to puree, either in batches in your blender, or tip the lot into your soup pot, and use a stick blender. Adding liquid, you can choose water, stock, coconut milk, or a mix of all three. Blend to a soup consistency, and check the seasoning. To boost the flavour, try grated fresh nutmeg, crumbled crispy bacon, or freshly chopped herbs – I like coriander or chives, for creaminess, add a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream. It’s as simple as that.
The same method can be used for a roasted zucchini & tomato soup, adding fresh basil & lemon zest after blending.

To make it more of a meal, add a rinsed can of lentils, chickpeas, or add a little shredded chicken.

The rules are your rules, cook what suits you, and what you like, after all, variety is the spice of life 🙂