Power Me Up with Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Last week we had an autumn-break from our studies, and since I felt it was time to go visit my sister and her growing belly, I decided on spending a few days in Copenhagen loading up with some sister-love! We were lucky to have some unexpectedly warm and sunny days and one of the days we went for a long walk around Christiania where we enjoyed falafels and sunshine, which were simply wonderful and kind of magic to feel the last drops of sunshine before the winter kicks in!
My sisters boyfriend is kind of a self-taught home gourmet cook, or so I seem to think, he makes the most incredible food which is always totally boosted with taste and power but at the same time feels light in the stomach. Just my kind of food! My sister on the other hand is not all that into cooking and thats why the busy cook aka her boyfriend is kind of amazed when someone replaces him in the kitchen and cooks up a magic meal on a cozy autumn night! And so I did! I made 4 batches of wholesome and healthy  crisp bread  (a perfect pregnant-snack) and a warm, sweet and spicy pumpkin soup with caramelised apples, crispy serrano and popped, roasted pumpkin seeds…and luckily they loved it!

Now I am home and the warm and sunny days are already long gone and have been replaced with minus degrees and snow.!? That’s why I feel like enjoying that warm, spicy and flavourful soup while closing my eyes and imagine sunny Cristiania and my little nieces small kicks within her mothers belly.

The first time I made the soup I matched the pumpkin with parsnip, carrots and apples. It was really nice but I felt like the soup could use an extra little twist, so this time I replaced the parsnip with celeriac which made the perfect combo! Normally you would use a vegetable broth for a vegetable soup, but I actually prefer  to use a chicken broth to get some more flavour, dept and umami into the soup.
The topping is optional and replaceable but I would recommend you to try this combination. The apples are in season and should be used as much as possible and is a perfect fit since they are an ingredient in the soup as well. You can choose to add them raw if you prefer that version, it’s delicious as well. The pumpkin seeds are just a safe choice and it’s always nice to have several element of the same vegetables within one dish. Give them a little roast on a pan to free those extra flavours. Serrano is just my addiction and you can use bacon instead or leave it out if you are a vegetarian.
Some might prefer bread as well but in my opinion the topping is enough, and you’ll have that light and pleasant feeling in your stomach afterwards…and room for dessert 🙂

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Pumpkin soup

Serves 4-6

1 medium sized hokkaido pumpkin
2-3 carrots
1/3 of a medium sized celeriac (if you use the small organic ones, use 1/2 instead)
1 apple
4-5 cups/1-1,25 l chicken broth (vegetable if vegetarian)
1 chilli, red, hot and fresh
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 onions
5 cloves of garlic
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup/125 ml cream, fat 8-12%
Salt & pepper

Tender  apples with thyme
2 apples, cut into slim boats
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tsp butter

Additional soup accessories
100 g/3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
8 pieces of serrano
Sour cream

1. Rinse and peel celeriac, carrots and onions and cut into cubes. Rinse pumpkin and apple, remove the seeds, cut into cubes (no need to peel apple or hokkaido pumpkin). Split the chilli open and remove the seeds.
2. In a soup pot, heat oil and add all of the vegetables and saut © for a few minutes. Add the chicken broth until the water just covers the vegetables. Add thyme and let it simmer until vegetables get tender, approximately 20-25 min.
3. In a skillet roast pumpkin seeds, until they appear golden and are popping. You can add some flaky sea salt to the seeds. Remove set a side to cool in a bowl or jar.
4. Then add butter to the pan along with the apples boats, honey, cider and thyme. Saut © for a few minutes on medium heat until the apples are tender but with a slightly crispy middle. Remove from heat.
5. Use the same skillet for frying the serrano until in becomes crispy and golden.
6. Use a blender, I prefer a hand held blender, to blend the soup into a creamy smooth texture. Add more broth if it is too thick. Add the apple cider vinegar and cream. Taste the soup and see if it needs more cider, salt and pepper or perhaps some chilli powder or additional thyme.

Serve the soup with the lovely apples, pumpkin seeds, crispy serrano and sour cream. Enjoy!