I love beetroot. I love that on the shelf it’s an ugly brown looking thing that came out of the dirt. But under that skin is a beautiful vegetable that boasts not only a stunning vivid colour, but also a sweet, delicate flavour that warms the soul. And it’s very good for you too. This is such a nice way to jazz up pumpkin soup, and the taste is just SOUPERB (sorry!). Just use extra pumpkin if you don’t have orange kumara, but I like the texture the kumara adds. Feel free to add some chilli powder or cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
2kg pumpkin (I used butternut), peeled, seeds removed and chopped
1 large beetroot (or 2 small), topped and tailed
2 orange kumara, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sour cream
Half a lemon
Extra sour cream or cream to serve
Fresh herbs, to serve (coriander, parsley, basil)
Pumpkin seeds, to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Wrap the beetroot in foil. Place the pumpkin and kumara pieces in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven with the beetroot; the pumpkin will take about 30 minutes, the beetroot 40-45.
To make the beetroot cream, remove the foil from the beetroot and when slightly cooler, peel the skin off with your fingers and chop. Puree the beetroot and sour cream until smooth. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Add a bit of cream if you like. Warm this up again just before serving.
Heat the butter in oil in a large saucepan or soup pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and cumin and cook for about 7-10 minutes until the onion is very soft (not browned). Add the pumpkin and kumara to the pan along with the smoked paprika, stock and cream. Before you heat it up, use a stick blender to puree into a soup, or use a blender/food processor. (Important note – never use a blender or food processor for hot food – it can explode and burn). Cover with a lid and simmer to heat though and finish cooking. At this point, you can add a little more stock or cream until the soup consistency is how you like it. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon pumpkin soup into bowls, and top with a big spoon of beetroot cream and a dollop of cream cheese/cream. Give it a gentle swirl with a spoon, sprinkle with herbs and serve with crusty hot buttered toast.