We love a change in seasons, especially after a long hot summer when Autumn comes knocking on the door. The cooler temperatures give us a little extra kick in our step and we find ourselves surrounded by a new cast of characters at the local markets. Crunchy apples, ripe figs, chestnuts, pomegranates, and of course pumpkins. The fall line up is much richer in taste, texture and color than their lighter summer counterparts.
Always a staple on the Portuguese table is Sopa de Abóbor, a surprisingly simple, but flavorful pumpkin soup.
1 medium whole pumpkin, cleaned, seeded and cut into 2 inch pieces (skin on)
3 carrots, cut into pieces
1 medium yellow onion, cut into pieces
3 cloves of garlic
2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup of water
A good high quality olive oil
½ teaspoon of sea salt
½ teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper
Arrange pumpkin pieces (flesh side up) and carrots on a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at medium heat for 45-50 minutes, until the flesh of the pumpkin is soft. When the pumpkin is sufficiently cooked, the skin will easily peel away. In a medium saucepan, combine the onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and cook on medium to low heat for 3-4 minutes, until golden and tender. Combine all vegetables in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Return the pureed mixture to the medium saucepan, adding the broth and water. Bring all of the ingredients to boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes.
Garnish with chives or parsley and serve with crusty, oven baked bread. If you're looking to add a little texture, set aside some of the pumpkin seeds to toast and sprinkle over the soup.
Cheers to rustic flavors of autumn and hope to see you soon in Lisbon!