Travelling around the U.S. during fall not only made me appreciate the utter beauty if its landscape in colourful glory, but reminded me how much I love the good old pumpkin. It was creeping up to halloween and just about every house, shop or restaurant I saw was adorned with a variety of colourful pumpkins and squashes. And I’m not talking pumpkins carved into faces; just your regular varieties that are purely used as decoration.
Coming home to hot weather in Sydney didn’t stop me from picking up a butternut pumpkin and whipping up a soup with it. Personally, I could eat pumpkin soup at any time of the year. I usually roast it with an onion and a couple of garlic cloves before whizzing it up with vegetable stock, but this time I’ve taken it a bit further and made it into more of a substantial meal.
Not only did I roast the pumpkin dusted in ground cumin and drizzle it with pomegranate molasses, but I made a garnish of quinoa spiced with za’atar, sumac and chilli. It gives the soup texture and an added warmth from the Middle Eastern spices. If you have left-over cooked quinoa in the fridge it’s a great way to use it up.
The parsley in our street herb garden is in desperate need of a prune as each plant is covered in flowers. Adding the little flowers to the quinoa, along with the regular leaves, was a great way to use the flowers and add some green freshness to the mixture.