If you don’t love garlic you’re going to hate this recipe (but you might love this 5 ingredient recipe, or this gingery butternut one)! There is around 8 cloves of garlic in this spicy pumpkin soup, and the optional addition of garlic bulbils in the peptia topping mix. Phwoar! For those still sitting on the fence about garlic, please consider yourself warned!
Many people have a love-hate relationship with garlic. Me, I love the stuff! I grow it, I buy wreaths of it from my local farmer’s markets and I cook most meals with it. Like most of the plants I grow I love to learn about the history and the varieties available. I’m so crazy for this pungent herb that the highlight of my year thus far has been the arrival of delicious garlic bulbils at work. They’ve even made a couple of appearances on my instagram feed.
“Ahh… garlic what-bils?”, you say.
Bulbils are the mature false seed heads of hard-neck garlic that grow from garlic scapes (stems). Both bulbils and scapes are edible – and delicious! Garlic scrapes can be used like spring onions due to their mind onion-y flavour; bulbils can be eaten raw whole (with the papery husks) or can be tossed in soups, salads and on your favourite home-made pizza. Here the bulbils are combined with chilli and pepitas to make a delicious garnish.
While a delicious addition, the bulbils aren’t essential for this recipe; it’s that 8-10 cloves of garlic I’m gleefully trying to get you to blend up with the sweet, tender pumpkin. This soup has some heat from the chilli and garlic, softened by the rich sweetness of Kent (Jap) pumpkin. Velvety and smooth, enjoy this rich pumpkin soup with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or sour cream (or not for vegan/dairy-free) a generous smattering of lightly toasted pepitas. Embrace your garlic loving self and come enjoy some pumpkin soup with me!
- 1 tbsp rice bran oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 8-10 garlic cloves (depending on preferred level of pungency)
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1kg kent or jap pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 lt chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
- 1½ tbsp pepitas
- ½ tbsp garlic bulbils (or swap for ½ tbsp more pepitas)
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup Greek yoghurt (optional -omit for vegan/dairy-free soup)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until golden and translucent. Add garlic and cayenne pepper and cook while stirring until garlic has softened and is fragrant.
- Add pumpkin, carrots, stock, salt and bay leaves to saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- While pumpkin is cooking, combine pepitas, garlic bulbils and extra cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Heat a small frying pan on medium-high heat and then add pepita mixture, shaking the pan occasionally for 4-5 minutes. Return the pepita mixture to the bowl and set aside.
- Remove and discard bay leaves from saucepan, blend or process soup until smooth. Serve into four bowls and top with Greek yoghurt and pepita mixture.