Before you even start preparing the pumpkin and other vegetables for the soup pot, you need to make sure you have a couple of liters (quarts) of good hot chicken broth at the ready. One way to do that is to poach a chicken in water for 30 to 40 minutes. Or buy broth at the supermarket.
PUMPKIN Cut the pumpkin or other winter squash into big chunks that are easy to work with, because you need to trim off and discard the skin, as well as the fibrous pulp in the middle. You can of course save and roast the pumpkin seeds.
I had 600 grams, or just less than a pound and a half of pumpkin for the soup.
Cut the chunks of pumpkin into, say, finger-size pieces, a little like french fries.
ONIONS Also slice two or three onions (and optionally, some garlic) and cook them in the soup pot in oil or melted butter until they are tender. Season the onions with salt, black pepper, and add pinches of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and (if you have it) fenugreek. The spices are your choice. Just a little curry powder would be good, or just salt and pepper.
POTATOES As the onions are cooking, peel and cut up three or four potatoes. The pieces of potato should be approximately the same size as the pieces of pumpkin so that everything will cook evenly. I think the amount of potato I had was about 1½ cups.
BROTH When the onions are very tender, add the pumpkin and potatoes to the pot and stir everything together. Let it cook, stirring, for five minutes on medium heat, so that the vegetables are coated in the onion-flavored oil or butter. Then pour on enough hot chicken broth to cover the vegetables. You can make the soup as thick or as thin as you like. Add water as needed.
MILK When the vegetables are just about cooked and tender — it takes 15 or 20 minutes — add a cup or so of milk (or a smaller amount of cream) to the soup to make the broth creamy white. Taste it for salt. I actually added a tablespoon of sugar to the soup at this point. Do it if you think the pumpkin hasn't sweetened the broth enough.
CHICKEN Finally, and optionally, add the shredded meat of half a poached or roasted chicken.
If you don't want chicken in the pumpkin soup, just leave it out, or substitute flaked cooked fish, cooked shrimp, or tofu. When the pumpkin and potato pieces are very tender and starting to fall apart, the soup is ready. Serve with fresh herbs if you have any — basil, cilantro, parsley, etc. Here's a link to yesterday's post.