What else could I post on Halloween but a pumpkin recipe. After my carving adventure yesterday, I just had to use up all the orange-coloured flesh I had left over. I will admit here and now that my main reason for making the soup was that I felt it to be such a waste, not because I am a great fan of pumpkin soup - I don't mind it, but decades of eating the same old quite watery pumpkin puree with lots of cream and thickened with a butter/flour mix (so 70s, isn't it?) compelled me to look for pastures new...
For this year, I wanted something different. I would not use any of the above (except the pumpkin, maybe ;-)) So I took some onions, celery and carrots, some stock - but I kept the quantity of the liquid ingredients really low, after all, any soup should be all about its main protagonist - in this case the pumpkin. And when you're not greedy with your vegetables, then your soup automatically turns out quite thick and filling, there's really no need for any cream, butter or flour!
Since I just used a regular carving pumpkin I found the flavour quite non-descript, so I added a tiny amount of smoked salt for a lightly smokey undertone and some orange juice for a delicate, fruity taste. The more I ate of it, the more I liked it. It is really quite a departure for me, but in a good way. Not sure I'll finish the whole pot, but I feel like I've achieved what I wanted: a thick and comforting soup, despite being healthy and wholesome at the same time, and definitely a pleasure to eat out of its kabocha-squash bowl.*
*Although I tried to part with old habits here, I could not resist adding the traditional pumpkin seed oil. It's a dark green oil with a distinctly nutty taste - the Austrians have a love-hate relationship with it: it is treasured almost as much as truffles, everybody I know swears by their own personal supplier of it and it is used very scarcely. The hate comes in when you spill it on a light-coloured garment, as no detergent on earth will be able to cope with this kind of stain. Years of eating it have taught me that you can only get rid of them by exposing them to strong sunlight for however long it takes - the sun will eventually bleach it.