Miso shines a light on the earthy sweetness of the pumpkin, bringing to life this delectable pumpkin miso soup. The chorizo drizzle adds a sparkle that only spicy chorizo can.
Pumpkin soups can range from the pedestrian to the divine. I have endured one too many bowls of what is no more than pumpkin puree. I love pumpkin, but serving pumpkin puree does pumpkin a disservice. It can be so much more. That was the goal of this dish.
Layers of Flavour
A pumpkin soup, or any soup, needs to have layers of flavour, not just the culinary equivalent of a white room. The soup base in this recipe draws on techniques used to create ramen broths. Combining dashi with a rich chicken stock creates an umami-packed base that will lift that sweet earthy pumpkin to a new level, highlighting what makes pumpkin special.
I am a fan of miso ramen. The miso brings a complexity to the broth seldom found in other styles of ramen. This complexity is also a feature of different miso soup styles such as this Red Miso Soup, this Salmon Miso Soup, and this Charred Corn and Miso Chowder. Adding miso not only contributes to the broth’s seasoning, but it also adds a creamy texture and slightly nutty and savoury flavour. And so it does with this miso pumpkin soup.
Chorizo: short piece of gut, filled with meat, regularly pork, chopped and seasoned, usually cured by the smoke.Spanish dictionary, 1726, via chorizoespanol.es
Spanish chorizo is a cured pork sausage seasoned with pimentón a.k.a. smoked paprika. There are many variations of chorizo, including both mild and spicy versions. If you like a bit of heat, then use the spicy chorizo for this recipe. Whatever chorizo you choose, it will have a distinctive taste, so only a small amount, a drizzle, is needed to add another dimension of flavour to this miso pumpkin soup.
So there we have it: the earthy sweetness of roast pumpkin, layered on a base of dashi and chicken stock, enhanced and seasoned with miso, and topped with a flavourful chorizo drizzle. So good.
Miso Pumpkin Soup with Chorizo Drizzle
- Preheat the oven to 200 degC.
- Cut the tops off the pumpkins and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.
- Smear some olive oil on the inside and outside of the pumpkins, place on a baking tray, and put in the oven. Roast for around 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin flesh is soft. Don’t overcook as the the skins will get too weak to hold the soup.
- While the pumpkin is roasting, sauté the onion in a saucepan until soft, then add the garlic and ginger. Continue to sauté until fragrant, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, half of the dashi, water, and diced carrot to the saucepan and bring up to a simmer.
- Simmer until the carrot is soft.
- When the pumpkins have cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool until they can be handled.
- While waiting, cut up (or crumble) the chorizo into small pieces.
- In a (small) skillet, sauté the chorizo until it has rendered some oil and is starting to brown.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Scoop out the the pumpkin flesh from the pumpkins, leaving enough around the walls to maintain their structure (about 5-8 mm). Add the pumpkin flesh to the saucepan. Set the pumpkin casings aside.
- Using a hand blender, blend the contents of the saucepan until reasonably smooth. A little chunky is OK.
- Stir the red miso into the other half of the dashi.
- Add the miso and dashi, fish sauce, paprika, and chilli flakes to the saucepan and stir to combine.
- Gently simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to merge.
- Check for seasoning, adding a little salt or more fish sauce if necessary.
- Serve the soup in the pumpkin casings. Drop some chorizo on top together with a little of its red rendered oil.