Pumpkin and Root Vegetables Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano Croutons

Slowly but surely we are heading towards autumn, when cravings of hot and soothing meals emerge, especially in the dark, crisp evenings. If you feel the need to warm up with a bowl of soup, pumpkins are the way to go! Mixed with other classic autumn and winter vegetables, such as carrots and parsnips, this pumpkin soup boasts with sweetness and intense creaminess. What makes the soup an even heartier affair is adding big chunks of home-made croutons with melted Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese that enrich the dish with a depth of umami taste notes. How truly satisfying!

Ingredients:

For approx. 750ml soup (2-3 portions)

350g butternut squash or Hokkaido pumpkin

2 large carrots

3 parsnips

1 big shallot or 2 small shallots

2 cloves garlic

Olive oil, sea salt

1ltr vegetable stock

Sea salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste

2-3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds

 

For the Parmigiano-Reggiano croutons:

2-3 slices of white bread, preferably sourdough

6 tbsp. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Olive oil

 

What you’ll need:

Chopping board

Large kitchen knife

Bread knife

Baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper

Large pot

Mixing bowl

Frying pan

Vegetable peeler

Measuring jug

Kitchen scales

Grater

Stick blender

Sieve

Tablespoon

Wooden spoon or spatula

 

Method:

  1. Cut the pumpkin (or squash), peeled carrots and parsnips into chunks as well as the shallots and garlic. Place everything on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, rub the vegetable pieces with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on top. Bake in the oven, middle rack, fan 180-200°C or gas mark 5, for about 30 minutes until soft.
  2. Take a mixing bowl, add the baked vegetables to it and puree them using a stick blender. Gradually add the vegetable stock to the puree. Take a mesh sieve, place it over the pot and pass the thick liquid through it with the help of a spoon. On very low heat, let the soup simmer while preparing the croutons.
  3. Cut the bread into small chunks (one slice per portion). Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on them and fry them in a non-stick pan. Frequently turn them with a wooden spoon or spatula. Once they are crusty, turn off the heat and sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano on them. Stir again a few times to distribute the cheese and to avoid burning it.
  4. Taste the soup, add ground nutmeg to taste, and if necessary a bit more salt or black pepper. Serve the soup in deep bowls, add the Parmigiano-Reggiano croutons, a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds per portion and round off the dish with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately!

(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)

http://www.castelli-uk.com

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