This perfect winter soup adds colour and rich texture to the French Kitchen table. Although you can substitute other squash like Butternut or Acorn, the thickness of the soup depends on the texture of the pumpkin or squash. Pureeing half or even all of the added beans will also thicken a thinner soup. Don’t forget to reserve a few for garnish.
1 tablespoon duck fat, olive oil, butter, or vegetable oil
2 shallots, chopped 1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cups of French Pumpkin or butternut squash
2-3 cups good water
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
bouquet garni of bay, parsley or celery leaf, fresh thyme
1 cup cooked white beans whole nutmeg
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a 2 litre saucepan. Add the shallots and onion and cook gently until soft and translucent.
Peel and cut the pumpkin into large cubes and add to the pan. Just cover with water, season and add the bouquet garni.
Cover and cook over a medium heat. When the soup begins to boil reduce the heat to a lively simmer. Cook until the pumpkin is soft.
Remove the bouquet garni, add half the cooked white beans and blend to purée. Alternately you can mash the pumpkin pieces and beans with a fork for a coarser texture.
Correct the seasoning and finish, if desired, with crème fraîche, a swirl of olive oil, a spoonful of vinegar, a nut of butter, a drizzle of hot sauce.
Garnish with the cooked beans and a grating of fresh nutmeg. Serves 4