There seem to be a million variations of pumpkin soup out there. This is mine, and I have been making it this way for years. It is really quite simple – just roasted vegetables and stock, with a few little extras. I think the roasting brings out the best of the vegetables to make a tasty soup.
It is a two stage process: first, roast the vegetables and make chicken stock; second, combine the pureed vegetables and stock. I usually roast the vegetables one day, then the soup on another day. These quantities make quite a bit of soup, so halve it all if you don’t have a big enough pot.
I do think that the home made stock makes a difference, so I would encourage you to make your own stock if you can. If home made stock is in the “too hard basket” for you at this point of time, don’t worry, shop bought stock is fine too and you will still end up with a delicious soup.
I make chicken stock by just throwing everything into the pot and letting it simmer away for a few hours. You can get chicken carcasses from butchers, chicken shops and some delis. Sometimes they won’t be on display but if you ask they may have some behind the counter, and you can usually get a couple of carcasses for a dollar or two. Put the chickens in a pot with water and bring it to a simmering point, then add roughly chopped onion, celery, carrot, tomato, a little lemon zest and whatever other vegetables you have in the fridge. Add some herbs such as parsley, shallot and thyme, plus a little pepper. I don’t usually add salt at this point as I would prefer to add it to taste later, when the soup is cooking. Let it simmer away for several hours. Allow it to cool slightly, and when it is cool enough to handle safely, strain the stock into a heat proof bowl or container. Discard the bones and vegetables. Refrigerate the remaining stock to allow a layer of fat to rise to the surface. Remove this layer and discard. Your stock is now ready to use or store.
This recipe is easily halved, doubled or more. If you do make more, just keep in mind that it will take some time to chop and roast all those vegetables! I recently doubled the recipe for a soup night and it worked really well.