It’s that time of year again when the electric blankets come out, the hot water bottles get cradled in lectures and your washing takes a week to dry. Soup starts to become a viable option for most meals as your bank balances become as miserable as the weather.
When I was scrounging a free meal from my parents,my mum packed me off with a box of this soup to have for lunch. It was absolutely delicious. This soup is a fantastic way to make the most of the cheap tomatoes in season at the moment. It also doesn’t taste anything like your regular tomato soup (probably because it has pumpkin and a capsicum in it too). Mum got the original recipe from Dish magazine (issue 59), but I have loosely adapted it to fit my own impoverished needs. The original method says to remove the tomato skins once roasted; I think this is a mighty waste of nutrition so please don’t do it.
- 1.5kg tomatoes, sliced into halves
- 600g pumpkin, (half a small crown pumpkin)
- 1 capsicum
- 1 onion, sliced into wedges
- 1 bulb of garlic, with the stalk chopped off
- 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 2 - 3 cups chicken stock (depending on how thick you want it)
- A few good sloshes of cooking oil
- Salt and pepper
- Greek yoghurt
- Sunflower seeds
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees on bake. Line a large roasting dish with baking paper. Microwave the pumpkin half until it becomes soft enough to slice off the skin and to chop into small chunks.
- Place the tomato halves, pumpkin chunks, onion wedges and garlic bulb into the roasting tray. Drizzle over a few good sloshes of oil and a good sprinkling of salt. Place in the oven to roast for 40 minutes to an hour until the corners of the pumpkin have started to brown and the tomatoes have collapsed.
- Transfer the tomatoes, pumpkin and onion to a large saucepan, squeeze the garlic from its skin and add that too. Pour over the vegetable stock, balsamic vinegar and tarragon and bring to the boil for half an hour. Whizz your soup up with a whizz stick or transfer to a blender. The final consistency of the soup is up to you.
- Serve hot with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt and a sprinkling of seeds for crunch. Crusty buttered bread wouldn’t go amiss either.