Crema di Zucca (Pumpkin Soup)

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1kg Pumpkin
  • 200g Potatoes
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 80g White onions
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

For the Croutons:

  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g crusty home made bread

Method:

  1. Prepare the vegetable stock.
  2. Clean the pumpkin, get rid of all skin and the seeds and pulp in the centre.
  3. Cut the pumpkin into small cubes and set aside.
  4. Peel the potatoes and also cut into cubes and set aside.
  5. Peel and clean the onions and chop finely.
  6. Put the oil in a saucepan, add the onions and gently fry until the onions are clear and just beginning to brown.
  7. Add the pumpkin and potato cubes and stir well.
  8. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently and then add enough of the vegetable stock to just cover the vegetables. Add pepper, and salt if you are using it, to taste.
  9. Leave to cook for about 25-30 minutes, stirring every now and then, and adding the vegetable stock a bit at a time until it is all used up.
  10. When the vegetables are cooked, remove from the heat, allow to cool for a few minutes and then, either with a food processor or a hand held blender, whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  11. Add the cinnamon and the ground nutmeg and stir thoroughly.
  12. The soup is now ready so place on a very low heat to keep warm while you make the croutons.

To make the croutons

  1. Cut the bread into fairly large cubes and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  2. Drizzle the oil evenly over the top of them.
  3. Grill for a good five minutes, turning once or twice to brown them all over.

To serve

Divide the soup between four warmed bowls and place the croutons lightly on top.

Notes:

Pumpkin (or zucca in Italian) is very popular at this time of the year and is used widely all over Italy. It is used in risotto, as a stuffing in ravioli, in soups, stews and pasta dishes, or simply drizzled with oil and baked in the oven. This traditional Pumpkin Soup (Crema di Zucca) is a beautifully warming bowl of comfort food, easy to make and only 220 calories per portion.


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