Bring On The Frost

Seriously, bring it on. I woke up this morning, peeked out my window, and was delighted to see a beautiful blue sky, and a slowly rising sun. But my gaze lowered to the ground, and there on our communal garden (I live in an apartment block) was a nice layer of frost coating the grass. I resisted the urge to put my boots on, and run outside in my pajamas, so that I could stomp around creating a satisfying CRUNCH CRUNCH with my feet. No, that would forever mark me as the crazy neighbor. Just barely. It's that time though. Time for frosty mornings, time to see your breath as you huddle in your coat and hat every morning. Hey, as long as it's not raining that awful English drizzle or howling gale force winds outside, I'm all for it.

But if you do find yourself chilled to the bone, don't worry. This soup is guaranteed to thaw you with just one spoonful. I promise. Just do me a favor, and try to find the most interesting pumpkin you can - we've all seen butternut squash before. For this soup, I chose something called an "onion squash" - I'd never heard of them before, but picked one up at my grocery store last week. Find a squash or pumpkin with a cool name, and the soup will be so much cooler as a result.

Forgive my terrible photo of the colorful soup - I guess I was in a hurry to eat it. Maybe my fingers were numb from the cold. Either way, my soup sprinkled with rawmesan was well worth the wait.

Hearty Pumpkin Bean Soup

Serves 4

The particulars:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 small red chili, finely chopped (can remove seeds to take some of the heat away!)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 pints vegetable stock
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups curly kale
  • 1 handful parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • optional: sprinkling of parmesan cheese or rawmesan
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion. Fry for a few minutes until translucent, then add the garlic, ginger, and red chili. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin or squash and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on until starting to color and soften.
  2. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, lid on, for 15 minutes.
  3. Uncover, and add the tomato paste, beans, and kale. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the kale has wilted and the soup is heated through.
  4. Serve with a garnish of parsley leaves and some parmesan (optional).