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.

Home at last …

It certainly feels like I have been away.  I have definitely been away from both this blog and Bridgetown.  I hadn’t been here for ages.

As you know, I had been in Perth cleaning and gardening and packing.  The house now looks so good it was very hard to sign the management authority – there were even a few tears.  But I did it and now we are looking for tenants.  Normally, that would be the easy part but Perth is a boom-bust town and, at the moment, it is going through a ‘bust’ so it is harder than usual to find tenants. Continue reading

Calling all pressure cooker owners

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The whole point of today’s post is to implore all owners of a pressure cooker to use it to make risotto.  I know it isn’t traditional but risotto cooked in a pressure cooker is both good and quick.  I have a pressure cooker and the only thing I have ever cooked in it is risotto.  That maybe a slight exaggeration but, most certainly, the only thing in the last one hundred years. Continue reading

Spaghetti with slow-cooked cauliflower & broccoli

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We are eating broccoli, snow peas, asparagus and avocados at the moment and lots of them.  The other day, Maus even said that she was sick of avocados.  Now that is a problem.  We have two trees laden with the buggers.  It is near the end of the season, though.  Soon she will be spared.  It will be tomatoes with this and cucumbers with that.

The broccoli situation, as I predicted, is serious.  As with everything you grow, it came all at once.  In one week, I picked seven broccoli heads.  Luckily, I saw enough people to find homes for them all.

Continue reading

Pumpkin espresso loaf cake

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I was going through my emails the other day, deleting like mad.  In this household, we get five of every email, we have two computers, an iPad, and two iPhones.  That is a lot of deleting.  To make matters worse, when we arrive at either Bridgetown or Perth, the in-box is chockers after not being open for up to two weeks.  On the night of arrival, I delete like crazy and, again, on the night before departure.  Sometimes, I get carried away and delete an important email or one I had saved to read – que sera, sera.

Continue reading

Hoisin pork with beans, snow peas and noodles

p1000688copyThe snow peas have really gone mad.  We are, at last, getting some sunshine (although it is raining as I type) and now we have more snow peas than we can possibly eat.

We also have more avocados and asparagus than we can eat.  And soon it will be broccoli with this and broccoli with that.

Continue reading

Aromatic Baked Chicken

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The other day, we had one of those rare days in WA when it rains all day.  A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called ‘One Perfect Day’.  It was one of those days.  I just love rainy days.  You can’t go outside and work.  All you can do is stay inside and play.  Yippee!  Well … I guess you could do housework but that would be silly.

Because we had all day, I thought we would make something a bit different for dinner.  If we are busy outside, we usually have what we can whip up in the shortest time. Continue reading