Plant based, healthy and comforting, this soup makes no sacrifices in flavor!
Fall has settled in for good and I think that we all have started cooking warm, hearty meals like mushroom risottos or one pan mini meat loaves with potatoes. And what better time to cook those pumpkins! Through the years I’ve gathered quite a few pumpkin recipes I want to try. And every time I stumble upon some good produce, a need inside me is born. I need them all. I need to put them inside pies, breads, cakes, fillings, creams, stuffings. To make them noodles and purees. But, every time I end up making pumpkin soup. It’s kinda funny actually. I am wondering through the market, touching and feeling all those delicious fruits and vegetables, sniffing them to see which is the ripest, and then I see it. A nice, colorfull, well raised pumpkin with a magical glow around it. I can hear it talk to me, begging me to take it with me. I agree. During my ride back home, I’m thinking of all the ways I can use it, all the good things I can do with it. And eventually, few hours later, I end up comfy in my pajamas, curled up on my sofa with a bowl of warm, hearty, velvety pumpkin soup. Because the thing is, you can’t go wrong with pumpkin soup.
This recipe is ideal for anyone who follows a plant based diet but don’t want to make any sacrifices in flavor. The addition of cashew nuts and potatoes provides the same creaminess (if not more) as cream and results in an extra velvety soup.
Coating the mushrooms with olive oil, thyme and flour (use cornmeal or corn flour for gluten free option) and then baking them, gives them a very nice “meaty” taste and a contrasting texture that goes really well with the soup, making the dish more interesting. Garnishing with some pumpkin seeds and a little parsley wouldn’t be bad either!
If you buy a whole pumpkin you will probably have some left. Just peel it, cut it in cubes and freeze it in a zip lock bag. You’ll have readymade pumpkin for your future recipes! I often make a mix of peeled, chopped carrots (yes I also put a carrot, for extra nutrients!), potatoes and pumpkins and freeze it, so that I have the basic ingredients for this soup ready in my freezer for a time in need!
I usually double the mushrooms and eat them as a snack the same day.
If you put fresh ginger in the freezer for a while, it will be much easier to grate! Use a lot, since this soup literally asks for it!
Guys what did I just find out after some googling? Did you know that oyster mushrooms are also called pleurotous? The word pleurotus comes from the greek “πλευρώτους” which means side ear (!). And… I have more. Pumpkin also comes from the greek “πέπον” which means melon. Who would have guessed! 🙂
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ⅓ cup cashew nuts
- ½ cup chopped leeks
- 1 pound pumpkin in cubes
- 1 potato in cubes (about 0.25 - 0.5 pounds, 120 -250 grams)
- 1 small carrot in cubes
- 3 cups water
- Grated nutmeg to taste
- Fresh ginger (grated), to taste (about 1 tablespoon ore more!)
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ pounds oyster mushrooms (pleurotus)
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour (use corn flour or cornmeal for gluten free option)
- Preheat oven at 350 ℉ (175 ℃)
- Put mushrooms in a clean, large bag and drizzle them with olive oil. Shake to coat well and add thyme and flour. Shake again.
- Place them in a pan, sprinkle with salt and bake for 50 – 65 minutes or until crispy.
- Let them cool in a rack.
- In a wide pot add the olive oil and sauté leeks, pumpkins and carrots until caramelized and browned a bit (this caramelization step will give flavor without having to bake the pumpkin).
- Add cashews, potatoes and water and reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
- When potatoes and pumpkins are tender (about 30 minutes) turn off the heat and let cool a little.
- Blend until smooth (in a blender or with an immersion blender).
- Add ginger, nutmeg, cumin, salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Serve the soup with some mushrooms on top.
If you put fresh ginger in the freezer for a while, it will be much easier to grate!