A chance encounter in Gunnersbury Park last month prompted the recording of this recipe. Running – or rather shuffling – along on my first Park Run since March 2020, I spotted a stall setting up for the fortnightly artisan market and returned to purchase four tea towels on my way home: you can see Kate Guy’s designs (all food and recipe-related) here. We discovered a shared enthusiasm and Kate invited me to contribute a seasonal soup recipe for illustration in her forthcoming calendar project. So here is Delia’s Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Melting Cheese, earmarked for October in Kate’s calendar because that’s when pumpkins are in plentiful supply. Rather than just carving an over-sized one for Hallowe’en, grab something a little smaller and make this soup or a pumpkin pie. Diced and grated cheese, and croûtons too, add body and variety of texture.
1 pumpkin, approx 1.6kg
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
850ml vegetable or chicken stock
450ml whole milk
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
110g Gruyère or Fontina, cut into 5mm dice
50g Gruyère or Fontina, coarsely grated
6 tsp crème fraîche
Croûtons (see below)
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 240°C (220 fan).
Cut the pumpkin into eighths through the stalk and scoop out the seeds. Brush each section with oil and place on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and then roast for 25-30 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and milk and bring slowly to simmering point. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh and add to the stock along with more salt and pepper and nutmeg. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.
Blend the soup to a purée in two batches and pass through a sieve to remove any fibrous bits. Taste and season well. When ready to serve, re-heat it gently just up to simmering point and stir in the diced cheese. Ladle into soup bowls, garnishing with a teaspoon of crème fraîche, grated cheese, croûtons and parsley.
75g bread cut into small cubes
1.5 tbsp olive oil
A little salt
Pre-heat the oven to 170 fan.
Put the cubes of bread in a bowl with the oil and a pinch of salt and stir to coat evenly. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until they are crisp and golden. Be warned: you must use a timer because it is very easy to forget these and burn them. Allow to cool and leave aside until the soup is ready, or store them in a tin or jar.