Butternut pumpkin & cauliflower stem soup

Butternut pumpkin & cauliflower stem soup

Moving on from my previous baked cauliflower recipe, I knocked together a soup using the stems and leaves along with some fresh butternut pumpkin I had sitting in the crisper. If you’ve got vegetables lounging about the fridge just whack them into a pot and make a soup, I say.

Many people throw out the stems from cauliflower, wasting a quarter of the vegetable. Such a waste! My vegetable conservation didn’t end there with the soup. Rather than dispose of the skin and seeds from the butternut pumpkin, I roasted them together with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper to create a delicious garnish.

The roasted seeds were processed with a little parmesan, making a wonderful crumble and the roasted skins were like pumpkin croutons!

Butternut pumpkin & cauliflower soup recipe

Butternut pumpkin & cauliflower soup recipe

butternut pumpkin & cauliflower stem soup

serves 4


  • 850 g cauliflower core, stems, leaves
  • 250 g butternut pumpkin, skinned, seeded & chopped into chunks (reserve the skin and seeds)
  • 100 g parmesan, cut into 3 chunks
  • 1½ litres vegetable stock
  • Sea salt & milled black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp parmesan pieces, extra


Wash the cauliflower off-cuts really well as there may be dirt in the tight crevices. Roughly chop the off-cuts (chop the core smaller as it takes longer to cook) and put them into a large saucepan, along with the pumpkin, parmesan and stock.

Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally as the parmesan may stick to the bottom before it has a chance to dissolve. Test for seasoning.

While the soup is simmering preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the pumpkin skin (skin-side down) and seeds on a baking tray, spray with cooking oil and season with sea salt and freshly milled black pepper. Roast for ½ hour until lightly browned. Set aside and allow to cool. Put the roasted pumpkin seeds into a processor and blitz until coarse, then add the extra 1 tablespoon of parmesan and continue blitzing until it resembles a crumble. Set aside.

When the soup is done, use a stick blender to reduce it to a fairly smooth puree. Serve topped with the roasted pumpkin skin and a scoop of the pumpkin seed & parmesan crumble. Don’t forget the crusty bread!

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