Yotam Ottolenghi hasn't been known for simplicity. But the acclaimed British-Israeli chef and best-selling author is taking on a lot with a little in his latest book, Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook, in which he shares 130 Middle Eastern–inspired recipes that can be made in under 30 minutes with 10 or fewer ingredients. And while this pumpkin soup may be simple, this feel-good recipe packs a flavorful punch with distinctive flavors of earthy saffron and fresh orange zest. We think it's the perfect way to spice up a cold evening.
In all its burnt-orange glory, pumpkin adds a warm-and-fuzzy sweetness to the soup but also has loads of health benefits as it's high in vitamin A and vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system, improves eye health, and protects against some types of cancer. The fiber in pumpkin aids digestion and regulates blood sugar levels, and the beta-carotene provides the much-needed anti-inflammatory and skin-rejuvenating benefits.
With the bustle of the holiday season upon us, this creamy pumpkin soup may just be the cozy meal to keep us full and feeling good this winter.
Pumpkin, Saffron & Orange Soup
Serves 4 to 6
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 onions, sliced into 1¼-inch wedges
- 2½ lb. pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed, flesh cut into 1¼-inch pieces
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons rose harissa
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 orange, finely zested to get 1 teaspoon
- ¾ cup creme fraîche
- ¼ cup (5 grams) cilantro leaves
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Mounded ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Mix everything for the pumpkin seeds in a small bowl, along with ¼ teaspoon salt. Spread onto a small parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes, until the seeds have popped and are starting to brown. Set aside to cool and then break up any clumps into bite-size pieces.
- Increase the oven temperature to 450°F.
- Combine the oil, onions, and pumpkin in a large bowl with ¾ teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper. Mix well and transfer to a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, until everything is soft and caramelized. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Put the stock into a stockpot with the harissa, saffron, orange zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and a good grind of pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and, once boiling, carefully tip the roasted pumpkin and onions, along with any oil from the sheet pan, into the stockpot. Stir through, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the crème fraîche, then, using an immersion blender (or transfer to a countertop blender if that's what you have), blitz until completely smooth.
- Serve each portion with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro.
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