Jamaican pumpkin soup
Butternut squash makes a fine substitute for pumpkin here, but if you can find a crown prince or delicata squash, do use it; the finished soup will have a texture like velvet. Look for a yellowish plantain, if using, rather than green, as it will be sweeter and softer once roasted.
- 1.2kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes
- 2 tbsp light olive oil
- 1 small, yellow plaintain (about 150g), peeled and diced, or 150g sweet potato or pumpkin, cut into small dice
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus a few extra to serve
- 15g butter
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 5 spring onions (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
- ¼–½ scotch bonnet chilli, deseeded and sliced
- 3cm piece of ginger, finely grated
- A pinch of ground allspice
- A good grating of nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1.3 litres vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- juice of 1 lime, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. In a bowl, toss the pumpkin with half the oil and spread over a roasting tin.
- In a separate, smaller tin, toss the plantain (or squash or pumpkin) with the remaining oil and half the thyme.
- Season all the veg well and roast for 20–25 minutes, until everything is soft and turning golden (keep an eye on the plantain, if using, as this will be ready a few minutes before the pumpkin). Set them all aside.
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the red onion and a pinch of salt. Partially cover with a lid and cook over a moderately low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.
- Remove the lid and increase the heat slightly. Cook, stirring often, for a further 5–10 minutes until the onion begins to turn golden. Stir in the spring onion, chilli, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cumin and remaining thyme, then cook for a further 3 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the roasted pumpkin, veg or chicken stock and bay leaf, then bring to the boil. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes.
- Take off the heat, remove the bay leaf and purée the soup using a stick blender or in batches in a free-standing mixer, then return it to the saucepan. Season to taste with
salt and pepper and the lime juice.
- Warm the soup over a medium heat. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with the diced plantain, sweet potato or pumpkin and the thyme.
Per serving 220 cals, 11g fat (3.4g sat fats), 4.2g protein, 28.5g carbs, 18.6g sugars
Recipe and styling by Alice Hart, photography by Emma Lee