We can’t say good bye to the autumn without making a pumpkin soup. Especially that the Winter is coming closer and the days are getting cooler and cooler, which means we all need a big bowl of a warm and delicious soup. For that reason I’ve decided to make this amazing Ottolenghi « pumpkin, saffron and orange soup ». A recipe from his wonderful book “Simple”.
This soup is silky, smooth and full of flavours. Roasting the pumpkin makes all the difference, it intensifies its flavour and sweetness, which balanced perfectly with the saffron, the orange and the rose harissa.
What is rose harissa ?
Harissa is a spicy chile pepper paste used in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. The word harissa comes from the Arabic harassa, which means “to break into pieces or pound” and refers to the way the paste is made—by grinding chiles together with olive oil, garlic, salt, and spices like coriander, caraway and cumin. Harissa is a staple condiment in Tunisia and Morocco, where it is often homemade.
The difference between harissa and rose harissa is simply the addition of the rose petals and some rose water, it brings a special sweetness to the paste and soften the kick of chilli. The rose harissa gives dishes that extra dimension of flavours.
You need to know that the range in kick between one harissa and the next, or one rose harissa and the next can be absolutely huge. So you’ll need to taste what you have and gauge how much to use. A lot of supermarket-own brands aren’t that punchy, so you’ll probably need to use 50% more than the recipe says, unlike the harissa that you buy from a North African shop, you’ll need to use 50% less that the recipe says because they are very spicy. But with heat is always a matter of taste and tolerance, so have a play around and see what works for you.
You can find the rose harissa at any Middle Eastern shop, or on line I got mine from « Waitrose ». You can also make it if you want, here is Ottolenghi rose harissa recipe from his masterclass.
How to make this pumpkin, saffron and orange soup ?
This soup is a must try, it’s delicious and easy to make. The soup calls for roasted pumpkin for maximum flavours. So peel and cut your pumpkin into chunks, put them in a parchment – lined tray, add the onions drizzle with olive oil, salt and a good grind of black pepper and toss to combine. Direction the oven for 25 minutes at 220C Fan, until the pumpkin is soft and caramelised.
Meanwhile make the stock. In a large pan put the vegetable stock with the rose harissa, orange zest, saffron, salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil add the roasted vegetables, and let cook for 5 minutes. Then add the crème fraîche and blitz until you get a very smooth texture. And voilà, the dinner is ready. Serve it with crunchy spicy seeds which add so much flavours and texture to the soup.
So as you can see the soup is made in no time. You could also make it in advance, it keeps in the fridge for 3 days, or can be frozen for up to 1 month. Perfect for the batch cooking. It’s the best way to warm up in winter after a long day at work.
You can also check this « butternut squash and saffron soup with caramelised pistachios and herb salsa ». If you’re looking for more cozy soups recipes check below.