Halloumi croutons! That’s all I really need to say, isn’t it? No, but the best part is that the actual soup is completely delicious! Sweet and creamy with the nuttiness of the walnuts shining through – yum! And for those not yet acquainted with the goddess halloumi, she is a salty, super delicious cheese made traditionally from mostly sheep and some goat’s milk, and hailing from Cyprus. Because of it’s high melting point, halloumi is often cooked or grilled, only adding to it’s wonderful-ness.
But back to soup. I love soup. I love that you can make it out of whatever you have on hand, that you can inject so much nutrition into it, and that it is so comforting to enjoy. And you don’t even need teeth, ha ha! Actually with my soups, teeth are required, because I’m all about exciting toppings and side bits that make the soup a bit special.
I’ve added walnuts into this soup, not just for their flavour profile, but for their protein and omega 3 goodness! I like to add them at the very end as specified in the recipe, to protect the delicate oils within the nuts from oxidation with too much heat.
Roasted Pumpkin and Walnut Soup with Salsa Verde and Halloumi Croutons
Serves 2, or one hungry person
1/2 cup raw, unsalted walnuts
3 cups peeled and chopped pumpkin, I like butternut
1/2 brown onion, peeled and diced
2 cups vegetable stock or broth
For the salsa:
1 cup, tightly packed of herbs, roughly chopped – I used a mixture of coriander, mint and parsley
1 small garlic clove, peeled
1 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
A good pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 180C / 350F
Pop the walnuts in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak while you prepare the rest of the soup.
Arrange the pumpkin on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with a little oil and a touch of sea salt and pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes, until tender.
While the pumpkin is cooking, prepare the salsa by using a mortar and pestle to bash together the chopped herbs and garlic. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use a food processor, or even just finely chop the ingredients by hand. Add the oil, lemon juice and salt and stir to combine well. Taste and add a little extra salt if necessary – it should be fresh and sharp tasting to contrast the sweetness of the soup.
Once the pumpkin is done, add a knob of butter, ghee or coconut oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until soft.
Add the pumpkin and stock to the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes, roughly mashing the pumpkin into the liquid. Remove from the heat.
Drain and rinse the walnuts well, and add to the soup. Blend with a stick blender, or in a blender for a creamier result.
Slice the halloumi into finger-sized slices, and sauté in a frypan over medium to high heat until lightly browned on both sides. Chop into crouton sized pieces, and try not to snack on it all before it makes it to the bowl.
Serve the soup topped with the salsa and halloumi, and some extra crushed walnuts if you like – yum!