Celebration Pumpkin soup

What am I celebrating? 

My last head cold was in February 2020. I’ve been boastfully rejoicing that the pandemic has proven that if we as a community, if we as a society, observe some simple hygiene principles, we can reduce the number of circulating respiratory infections.

There is so much evidence now for the truth behind the importance of physical distance, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and staying home if unwell.

As a society, as a community, we must encourage business owners and leaders to begin the next task, which is changing infrastructure to be safer. By that, I mean increasing the number of no-touch approaches to our everyday lives, such as using sensors for doors, taps, toilets, and lifts, making better use of smartphone apps to avoid touching things.

Anyway, as we’ve opened up more and people are relaxing their observance of the mechanisms for reducing communicable respiratory infections, we see more upper respiratory tract infections. I’ve been trying to maintain my observance of physical distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette as much as possible. But success relies on everyone doing the right thing.

This week I was infected with a respiratory viral infection. I developed nasal congestion and rhinorrhoea, and then a cough. I didn’t have any fever or headache. Given the advice I freely share with everyone, I went to the local drive-through collection centre to have specimens collected by sampling my throat and nasal mucosa for SARS-COV-2 RNA RT-PCR in ACT Pathology. 

I received my result by text message within 12 hours of the collection time, which is excellent.

COVID-19 SARS-COV-2 RNA RT-PCR result

Ingredients

  • Butternut pumpkin (1 diced)
  • Potato (1 diced)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (a good number of glugs)
  • Clive of India Curry powder (1 tablespoon)
  • Mapuche spice Chilean spice blend (1 tablespoon)
  • Cream (1 cup)
  • Sour cream (1 tablespoon)
  • Onion (chopped)
  • Bacon (diced)
  • Rye sourdough bread (1 slice)

Instructions

  1. Turn on your oven to about 180 °C.
  2. Smear some oil on the inside surfaces of a large baking tray.
  3. Lay the pumpkin pieces into the baking tray.
  4. Add a few good glugs of EVOO over the pumpkin.
  5. Sprinkle the curry powder and spice blend over the oiled pumpkin.
  6. Mix everything with a wooden spoon or if you like scratching your baking tray, use a metal spoon.
  7. Put the baking tray into the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the baking tray and pray to the Lord that the pumpkin has started to colour without sticking to the baking tray.
  9. Move everything around with the spoon of your choice.
  10. Put the baking tray back into the oven for a further 20 minutes.
  11. Remove the baking tray and again pray. This time, add in the diced potato and mix everything around. By now, the pumpkin will be soft, and the spoon you choose will deform the pumpkin.
  12. Put the baking tray back into the oven for a further 20 minutes.
  13. While the pumpkin and potato are in the oven, sautée the onion and bacon pieces in a large saucepan on low heat.
  14. When the baking tray has completed a total of 1 hour in the oven, remove it and mix everything up. By now, the pumpkin will be mushy, and the potato will be soft. The beauty of this method is there is no excess water in the soup; this means the soup is rich and unctuous.
  15. Add the mashed up pumpkin and potato into the saucepan with the onion and bacon.
  16. Mix everything around and process with a stick blender.
  17. When the mixture is smooth, put the saucepan back on the hob and add the cream and sour cream. Stir until the soup begins to simmer.
  18. Toast the rye sourdough bread.
  19. Plate up the soup with some chopped chives, garnish with basil and serve with the toast.
  20. Sit down with your plate, give thanks to the Lord for all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Then enjoy your soup.

Final thoughts

I think this soup would have been nice with some anchovies stirred through during the oven phase.