The easiest pumpkin soup recipe ever and … my pressure canner to the rescue

Everyone has their favourite pumpkin soup recipe.  My favourite is one I have posted before – Pumpkin, cashew and coriander soup.  It is a beauty (check it out here) but it does take a bit of effort.  And there are plenty of times when effort does not figure.  For those times, I have been dreaming of a recipe my mum used to make.  I had it hand written in my recipe book but somehow I lost it.  I did ask my sisters but to no avail.   I remembered the ingredients – chicken stock, pumpkin, tomatoes and onion but I couldn’t remember the proportions.

The other day, I walked under the house and saw 10 large pumpkins sitting on an old bed frame (which Maus got from the tip and serves as my vegetable airer).  They are the result of a pumpkin plant that self seeded in my neglected summer vegie patch.  Originally, I grew pumpkins because I put it in the dogs’ food but we don’t have dogs any more.  We don’t eat much pumpkin so they have just been sitting on the frame forgotten.  I decided to make pumpkin soup.

I searched on-line for another recipe I have been using and noticed a hit on Google for pumpkin and tomato soup – one click and I had it.  I was very excited.  It was the recipe mum used.  This recipe is dead simple and very tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 kg pumpkin
  • 410g can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • salt & pepper
  • cream, to serve
  1. Peel and dice the pumpkin and finely chop the onion.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook until the pumpkin is soft.
  3. Puree until smooth, taste and season as necessary.
  4. Serve with a dollop of cream, if desired.

Now that is an exceptionally quick and very tasty pumpkin soup recipe.  It is the only recipe I used to make until I lost it.  The only problem is, I have 10 large pumpkins and one kilo of pumpkin was not going to put much of a dent into that pile so I decided to make five times the recipe and pressure can it.

Five times the recipe made eleven and a half litres of soup.  We have tested the soup and it is as good as I remember.  It was so successful I have bought five more onions to make another 5 x batch tomorrow.

I have already written a detailed post on how wonderful my pressure canner is (check it out here).  If you have a vegie patch, I suggest you really consider a pressure canner. No matter how hard you try, you always end up with a glut of vegetables and there is only so much stuff you want in your freezer.  They are a bit nerve racking at first but they are easy to use and it is a great way to preserve food.

My earlier post includes detailed instructions on how to can soup.  If you are considering canning this soup recipe, please, read that post before proceeding.  Here is an excerpt from it.

The critical thing with pressure canning soup is:

  1. Cut the vegetables into even cubes, about 1 centimetre
  2. Cook the soup as you usually would.
  3. Add the solids to 500 mil (1 pint)  jars until they are about half full.
  4. Add the liquid leaving ½ inch head space
  5. Follow the instructions that came with the canner.

There are only two things to remember.  You cannot blend the ingredients; nor can you thicken the soup, until you open the jar.  This is because blended or thickened soup is too thick to reach the temperatures needed to kill all possible bugs.  But this is not a big deal.  When you open a jar, you can easily use a stick blender in the pot or bowl you are heating it up in.  If a thickener is called for, you can add that at this stage, too.

I followed the instruction in my previous post.  The only difference was this time I used litre jars rather than 500 mils jars.  Litre jars require one inch head space to be left and to be processed in the canner for 80 minutes at 11 lb pressure.

I have been making soap, again …

I have been making soap again and am having a ball.  Now we are settled into Bridgetown on a more permanent basis, I have been trying to build up my supply of soap ready for Christmas.  Soap needs four weeks to cure and I am going away for the whole of September, therefore, I don’t have that much time to build up supplies.

Soaping is a wonderful hobby because there is so much to learn and I love learning new things.  My long term plan is to get a range of soaps that I can make consistently.  I am still at the very beginning of this stage but there are already some soaps I think will form part of this range. Continue reading

Never fail sponge

Don’t you just hate “Never Fail” recipes!  They conjure up one image in my mind, “failure!!!”  It took me three attempts to get a decent soufflé from a “Never fail soufflé” recipe.

So I should have been nervous when I received an email from my niece, Fleur, entitled “Never fail sponge”.  I had asked her for the recipe she used for her son’s first birthday cake.  It was Maus’ birthday yesterday and I thought it would be nice if I made her a birthday cake. Continue reading

Rabbit with mustard

Eek!!! Shocking photo – we obviously got carried away with the mash.

Ok … the name does not sound very enticing and the photo is a shocker but dinner tasted so good I have decided to press on regardless.

I have had rabbit with mustard once before but I am sure the last time I had it it would have been called lapin à la moutarde. Now that sounds better – much more sophisticated. Continue reading

Pistachio and lime syrup cake with pomegranate seeds

Today, I have a very nice cake from Belinda Jeffery’s cookbook, Desserts.  As I have mentioned (a few times) before, I do like Belinda Jeffery’s books.  I actually make recipes from them which is more than I can say for a lot of my books.  I also like syrup cakes because I have a tendency to over cook my cakes.  As a result, they tend to be on the dry side.  The syrup hides this fact.  If you have a similar tendency, syrup cakes could be for you, too.

Continue reading

Chicken a la Tunisienne

Chicken à la Tunisienne is a very fancy name for what is not much more than a respectable take on the infamous 70’s dish apricot chicken. Was apricot chicken as popular in other countries as it was in Australia?  It was big time popular here.  I know my mum made it and so did Maus’ mum (Though, her mum was a bit more posh than mine.  She sprinkled flaked almonds on her apricot chicken!!). Continue reading