For most, soup is synonymous with winter and evokes feelings of nurturing and comfort. But why?
In 16th century France, soups rich in nutrients were sold from small shops specifically with the aim of restoring lost strength – and so became known as restorative. Two centuries later, ‘restaurants’ became known as places which sold soups and other foods known to bring restoration to the fatigued and famished. So, it comes as no surprise that we still see soups on the menu of many restaurants, especially at the commencement or entrée of the restoration process.
In the French context, food is not simply about eating, it is about restoring oneself; something that is forgotten and sorely missing from our busy, modern existence.
6 garlic cloves
3 sticks celery
1 large onion
1L chicken stock
Salt and pepper to season
Preheat oven to 180C.
Dice the pumpkin into large chunks. Place the pieces in a baking tray, toss with plenty of oil, and season well with fresh cracked pepper and salt. Place the pumpkin in the oven to roast for 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the pumpkin when the pieces are well roasted.
Finely dice the onion and celery, then sauté in oil in a large stock pot until translucent. Add the pumpkin pieces to the pot.
Add the chicken stock, and bring the pot to boil; then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and use a hand blender to blitz into a soup.
Serve with warm crusty bread.