We had a bit of appreciation for our last Pumpkin post and at Immortal Wordsmith we love sharing the things we enjoy with our readers. We have sampled the sweet delights of pumpkin and thought we would share a savoury recipe in case you had any left over from the cookies and cupcakes. This is a rich creamy and elegant dish that can be made for a very low cost but would wow on the menu of a dinner party purely for its unusual ingredients. Don’t forget, if you enjoy the recipe or the read share us with your friends!
Pumpkin and Wild Mushroom Soup Ingredients
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 500g pumpkin
- 150g “wild” mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves
- 600ml chicken stock
- Dash of double cream (optional, as the pumpkin makes for a creamy taste anyway)
- Salt and pepper
- Tbsp of finely chopped thyme and rosemary
- Roasted pumpkin seeds to garnish
Pumpkin Seed Topped Bread Ingredients
Makes 4 rolls and a small loaf
- 7g sachet fast-acting dried yeast
- 300g wholegrain flour
- 200g white bread flour
- 15g salt
- 25g caster sugar
- 50ml olive oil
- Enough warm water to obtain dough consistency (usually around 300ml)
- Toasted pumpkin seeds harvested from your pumpkin
Start by heating your oven to 150C. We’ll begin by roasting your pumpkin seeds for this recipe.
If you’ve been carving your pumpkin into a Jack o’Lantern, you should already have all the pumpkin seeds out. If you’re buying a whole pumpkin for the sole purpose of this recipe (who wouldn’t? This recipe is so delicious throughout autumn) it’s much easier to cut the pumpkin in half around the middle. If you haven’t read our Pumpkin carving guide click here.
Scoop out the seeds and separate them from the sinewy guts.
Wash the seeds to get off the last of the pumpkin residue then dry them with kitchen roll.
Give the seeds a coat of olive oil and spread evenly on a baking tray.
Bake for 15 minutes in the oven, take them out to give them a good shuffle around and then bake for another 15 minutes. Once they’re golden brown all over, take them out of the oven and put to one side.
Meanwhile, chop your pumpkin into 1cm chunks, removing all guts and skin. If you’ve been carving your pumpkin then you should already have a large bowl of pumpkin flesh. Cut down any larger pieces (or grate if need be) so that all your flesh is roughly the same size. Save this for the soup, covering with clingfilm and storing in the fridge.
Pumpkin Seed Bread Dough
While the seeds are in the oven, put the flours, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl and combine with a wooden spoon.
Create a well in the middle of the flour mix, pour in the oil and about 100ml of water. Begin to gradually combine with your wooden spoon.
Once all is combined, keep adding tablespoons of water until you have formed a good dough texture that’s not too sticky.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 10 minutes on a floured surface until the dough is elastic and smooth.
Coat your mixing bowl with a little oil and put the dough back in. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave for half an hour or until it’s doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl onto your kitchen surface to knock out the air, and quickly chop or shape your dough. I’m making 4 small rolls to enjoy with my soup today, plus a small loaf I can cut into slices and use for sandwiches and snacks over the next day or two. This bread is best eaten the day it was baked but if kept in a Tupperware will keep for a few days.
Adding Pumpkin Seeds
Either roll your dough on the tray of pumpkin seeds or push the pumpkin seeds into the bread by hand.
Place your dough on a lightly oiled tray or tin. You need to leave it to prove for another 30 minutes (It is a time consuming bake but well worth every minute). Using a drop of olive oil and kitchen roll, lightly coat a piece of clingfilm to place on top to cover the dough while it’s proving. This will stop the plastic from sticking to the dough and restricting it from moving.
Bake the rolls in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes. If you’re also baking a loaf you’ll want to then reduce the temperature to 150C and bake for a further 5-10 minutes.
Once out of the oven, transfer to a cooling rack to cool down. Tap the bottom of each roll and loaf with your fingers – it should sound hollow.
Now for the soup.
Pumpkin and Wild Mushroom Soup
Start by dicing up your onion and weighing your pumpkin flesh to determine how many mushrooms to add. If you have only a small amount of pumpkin you can either reduce the amount of mushrooms and other ingredients to match, or simply increase the amount of mushrooms to create a stronger tasting soup (we prefer a hearty, plentiful and well mushroomed soup). If you have more pumpkin than the recipe, you don’t need to add too many more mushrooms to balance it as the pumpkin has a much more delicate flavour.
I am using a mixture of Maitake, Eryngii and Oyster mushrooms that I found at my local supermarket, labelled Woodland Mushroom mix. These mushrooms give the soup a woody, earthy flavour that really compliments the sweet pumpkin notes. We recommend not foraging for the mushrooms yourself unless you know exactly what you are looking for. Wild mushrooms can be toxic and in some cases lethal so gathering them should be left to experts.
Heat your olive oil in a large saucepan and toss in the pumpkin cubes and onion. Fry these for a minute or so, then add your finely chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Fry for 5 minutes or so until the onions are turning soft and translucent.
Add your mushrooms to the pan, tearing them into smaller pieces with your hands, then add half of the rosemary and thyme. Fry for a few more minutes, getting the mushrooms hot and coated in the onion, herbs, pumpkin and oil.
Next, add your 600ml of chicken stock and season further with salt and pepper. Stir in and bring the soup to the boil.
Blending The Soup
Now reduce the heat and simmer until the pumpkin is soft and tender. Press a chunk against the side of your saucepan with the back of your spoon – if it easily mashes down, your pumpkin is ready.
Add the remaining herbs and a pinch more salt and pepper.
If you have a handheld blender, start to blend the soup directly in the saucepan. If not, carefully ladle it into your food processor in batches.
Once your soup is blended to a silky-smooth consistency and back in the saucepan, either add more water or reduce down at a simmer to achieve the texture you want. I’ve added a little more water to mine.
Next, on a low heat add a spoonful of double cream (milk is also fine if you don’t have any cream in the fridge) and mix through. Make sure the heat is reduced for this step. Cream is a delicate ingredient.
Taste and continue seasoning until it’s perfect!
Serve your soup with a garnish of thyme or use any leftover pumpkin seeds.
Break open the home-baked bread and butter it lavishly. To top everything off, enjoy your autumnal meal by the fire, watching the leaves fall from the window! Don’t forget to have a look around at our blog and see what other delights we have in store for you.