Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Homemade Herbed Croutons and Walnut Pesto

DSCF4872Roasting vegetables creates a delicious caramelizing effect, as well as an unbeatable depth of flavour.

This was the soup I served at the 2013 Macro Feast!

I made homemade croutons for some texture and crunch – a lack of selection at the grocery store led me to buy mint instead of basil for these croutons. I decided I wanted to highlight the sweetness of the caramelized root vegetables and the mint, so I kept the spices in the soup very simple, adding only allspice to round out those delicious sweet and savoury flavours.

The walnut pesto topping added a creamy decadence to an otherwise average dish.

This was certainly a favourite of my guests that day.

– – – – –

Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Serves 12

– about 4 cups of pumpkin, peeled and cut into large chunks
– 3 onions, quartered
– 3 carrots, cut into large chunks
– 4 cloves garlic
– ½ tsp allspice
– 4 tbsp sesame oil
– 2 tsp salt
– 8-10 cups of water or stock

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss pumpkin, onions, and carrots in 2 tbsp of oil and 1 tsp of salt. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes or until tender and caramelized. Remove from oven and let cool.

DSCF4858

In a large stainless-steel pot, heat remaining 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add roasted vegetables, 1 tsp of salt, and allspice, and let cook for a minute or two. Turn heat up to high and begin adding water or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender and flavour is correct.

Puree soup in batches and transfer back to pot. Serve hot, topped with croutons and walnut pesto.

Herbed Croutons

DSCF4862– 1 baguette, cut into ¾ inch cubes
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp marjoram
– 1 tsp thyme
– salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Toss bread cubes, oil, and spices together.  Spread evenly over a baking sheet and bake until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool

Walnut Pesto

– 1 cup walnuts
– 2 tbsp sesame oil
– pinch salt and pepper

Toast walnuts in a stainless steel pan until fragrant. Let cool completely.

Transfer toasted walnuts to a food processor and add salt. With lid secured and power on, chop walnuts while slowly pouring in the oil until texture desired is reached.

Enjoy!

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