Creamy Roasted Pumpkin & Sage Soup

This post was originally intended for Friday, however, for logistical reasons beyond my control, I’m posting it today and the post I had planned for today will appear on Friday.

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I always enjoy eating soup – even when it’s 100F outside!  One of my favourite soups when I’m back in the UK is the Daylesford Organic Butternut, Sage & Honey Soup.  Not having access to a shop to buy this delicious soup prompted me to try and recreate it.  Butternut squash isn’t available in India, but pumpkin is, so I gave it a whirl to see how it would turn out with pumpkin and whilst not exactly the same, it is extremely tasty.  This soup is filling, nutritious and once made, provides a quick and easy lunch or supper, or a starter / appetiser ahead of the main event.  The Domestic Prince was a complete skeptic when I told him what was for supper one evening….but having had seconds, I think I can safely assume he likes it, and as we say in our house, it’s a keeper!

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 750g chopped pumpkin (approximately 2cm cubes)
  • 3tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • 500ml of chicken stock
  • 200ml cream (single or double)
  • 30g of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 heaped tsp of finely chopped fresh sage
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • 3 rashers of bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces (to garnish)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Put the chopped pumpkin into a roasting tin and drizzle 2tbsp of the olive oil over the top and grind some salt and pepper for seasoning.  Toss the pumpkin around, making sure it’s all evenly covered in the olive oil.  Put in the oven and roast for 25 – 35 minutes, or until the outside of the pumpkin is just starting to char.
  3. Heat the remaining 1tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan and add the chopped onions and crushed garlic and cook for around 5 minutes, until the onion is just starting to brown in colour.
  4. Once the roasted pumpkin is ready, add it into the saucepan with the onion and garlic, and with the heat on, mix them all together.
  5. Add in the vegetable and chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Using either a hand blender or an upright blender, puree the pumpkin, onions, garlic and stock until there are no lumps of pumpkin or onions.
  7. Take the pureed ingredients and sieve them into a clean saucepan.  This will ensure your soup is velvety smooth.
  8. Add in the sage, cream and parmesan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. If needed, add salt and pepper to season.
  10. To serve, sprinkle on the small pieces of bacon on top of each portion.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. If you prefer butternut squash to pumpkin, simply swap the 750g of pumpkin for 750g of butternut squash.
  2. Dried sage can be used instead of fresh sage.
  3. The cream can be substituted for the same quantity of milk.
  4. If using an upright blender for pureeing the soup, let the mixture cool down a bit, as otherwise you run the risk of the lid exploding off and getting scalded by the soup (I’m speaking from experience here!)
  5. If you prefer a chunkier soup, omit the sieving stage at step 7.
  6. Double the ingredients up to make a larger batch for freezing.
  7. If you’re living in Bangalore, fresh sage can be bought from Namdharis.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!  What’s your favourite soup?  And unlike me, do you only eat soup in the colder months?

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

See-through Spring Rolls

The proper name for this recipe should be either Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls or Vietnamese Summer Rolls, but in our house they’re called See-through Spring Rolls. Why? Well, one of the many things I love about the Domestic Prince is his tendency to rename everyday items, objects, tv shows, places; you name it, I can guarantee he’s created a new name for it! For example, one of our favourite hotels in the Maldives is the One & Only Reethi Rah, which is now affectionately known as Wishy Washy. Another example is ITV’s current Monday night drama Scott & Bailey, that is now called Bayley & Sage, which incidentally, is a fabulous deli in Wimbledon Village. So, you get my drift! Not surprisingly then, my Vietnamese Summer Rolls, have been renamed See-through Spring Rolls, which as you can see from the picture is actually quite apt!

These rolls are a wonderful alternative to a salad or a sandwich, perfect as a canapé at a drinks party, or, a tasty appetiser. They are simple to make and incorporate delicious fresh flavours. They have become a firm favourite in our household.

Ingredients

For the spring rolls

  • 1 red pepper (bell) chopped into matchstick sizes
  • 1 yellow pepper (bell) chopped into matchsticks
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped into fine matchsticks
  • 1 cucumber peeled, de-seeded and chopped into fine matchsticks
  • 1 medium fresh chilli, de-seeded and chopped very finely
  • 1 tbsp of chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp of chopped basil
  • 500g of cooked shredded chicken or 500g of cooked prawns
  • ½ inch of freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil or wok oil
  • 12 large round rice paper wrappers (approx 8 – 9inches / 22 – 23cms)

For the dipping sauce

  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce, preferably light, but if all you have is dark, that’s fine too!
  • 1 tbsp of Chinese rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice

Method

  1. Put the peppers, carrot, cucumber, chilli, herbs, chicken or prawns, the ginger and oil into a mixing bowl and gently combine, making sure that everything gets coated in the oil.
  2. Pop one rice paper wrapper into warm water so it’s just covered to soften it. Once it’s softened, put it onto some kitchen paper on a chopping board or something similar, and pat dry.
  3. Place approximately 2 tbsp of the mixture on the rice paper wrapper, as shown in my photograph and fold the sides into the centre over the filling. Then fold the bit of paper that is nearest to you over and start rolling bottom to top. Make sure the filling is tightly tucked-in as you’re rolling and form a tight roll. The sides should seal quite easily as they will be slightly sticky. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
  4. To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and give it a quick whisk.
  5. Serve the see-through spring rolls on a side-plate with the dipping sauce in an individual bowl.

Domestic Princess Tips

  1. Be careful not to over soak the rice paper wrappers. They literally need to be in the water for 2-3 seconds. Any longer and they’ll split.
  2. If you like coriander, add in 1 tbsp as well as the other herbs.
  3. If you’re not limiting or avoiding carbs, add in 300g of cooked rice vermicelli noodles, snipped into about 2 inch strips.
  4. If you’re partial to garlic, add two crushed cloves to the filling mix.
  5. Omit the chicken or prawns and add sliced button mushrooms to make this a tasty vegetarian dish.
  6. If you want to add some crunch to your spring-rolls, sprinkle on some crushed peanuts before wrapping the rolls.
  7. Bangaloreans, you can buy these rice paper wrappers from Nature’s Basket in Indiranagar on CMH Road.

Is this something you think you’d enjoy? Have you made these before with different fillings? I’d love to see some pictures if you make these.

Have a wonderful weekend!

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

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