‘Tis the season for pumpkin, well at least here in the Northeastern United States. While I am dreading the upcoming shorter days (i.e. when it is dark by five in the afternoon), there is an endless array of fall foods that I adore including pumpkin roll (google a picture if you need convincing) and pumpkin pasta sauce. When my mom visited last month we made an excellent Moroccan themed meal including a tagine which I plan to blog about in another post and a Moroccan vegetable soup from my ever faithful as well as ancient (I’ve had it for well over a decade) Mediterranean Cooking cookbook by Jacqueline Clarke and Joanna Farrow. While the recipe features a variety of vegetables (carrots, onions and parsnips), pumpkin is the “star” as it’s what you can taste the most. I would recommend forgoing whole pumpkin and simply buying canned pumpkin as it’s infinitely simpler. While I served the soup as an accompaniment to our main course, it would be a great meal itself when paired with some crusty bread and a salad. So I hope you get to try the recipe and if you do, please let me know what you think of it!
Moroccan Vegetable Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
8 oz. carrots, chopped
8 oz. parsnips, chopped
8 oz. pumpkin (or canned pumpkin)
3 3/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
lemon juice, to taste
salt and ground black pepper
FOR THE GARNISH
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley and coriander, mixed
a good pinch of paprika
-Heat the oil and butter in a large pan and fry the onions for about 3 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots and parsnips, stir well, cover and cook over a gentle heat for a further 5 minutes.
-Cut the pumpkin into chunks, discarding the skin and pith, and stir into the pan. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the stock and seasoning, and slowly bring to the boil. Cover and simmer very gently for 35-40 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
-Allow the soup to cool slightly, then puree in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding a little extra water if necessary. Pour back into a clean pan and reheat.
-To make the garnish, heat the oil in a small pan and add the garlic, parsley and coriander. Fry over a low heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the paprika and stir well.
-Adjust the seasoning of the soup and stir in just enough lemon juice to taste.
-Pour into warmed individual soup bowls. Spoon a little garnish on top and carefully swirl it into the soup.