Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup w/ Thyme, Carrots, & White Beans

Although originally from Japan, I always associate hokkaido pumpkins with France, where they are called potimarron– a mixture of pumpkin and chestnut, which is exactly what it tastes like. Often served seasoned with sage, I choose to use thyme because I always have it in my pantry and I just love the flavor combination. Generally I would suggest roasting the seeds as well, but apparently these are harder to open and not worth the effort (though I myself have never tried). Usually I roast my pumpkins brushed in butter (as in my separate post on roasting pumpkins), but with this one I prefer olive oil since its healthier and compliments this particular variety well.

  • 1 hokkaido pumpkin
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, julienned
  • 3 cloves of garlic (because I love it!)
  • 1 1/2 cups of julienned carrots
  • homemade vegetable stock or Vegeta (a Croatian spice found at many supermarkets nowadays, but always at Central and Eastern European food stores)
  • 1 can of white beans
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • sour cream (optional)
  • bread (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Brush the flesh with olive oil and place flesh side down on a foil-lined sheet pan. Roast until a fork or knife can easily pierce through the pumpkin, about 20 minutes, depending on the size. Remove and let cool enough to handle. Either peel the skin off or scoop the pumpkin out with a spoon–whichever way you find easier. Place into a bowl and mash with the back of the spoon or potato masher.

In a medium-sized pot, saute the onions. As they start to caramelize, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or two. Next, add the carrots and cook until starting to brown a little. Add the pumpkin and either the vegetable stock or enough water to fill the pot. Stir to thoroughly incorporate the mashed pumpkin. At this point add the thyme, parsley, and Vegeta to taste, if using. I usually start with a teaspoon and go from there (Note: You do not need to add salt if using Vegeta). Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Serve with sour cream (optional) and a good bread like a pain de campaigne (not optional! lol).



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