I love it when the lack of ingredients provokes a stroke of creativity. This happened to me when making this soup. I was looking for my white wine, of which I didn’t have any left, and saw the limoncello. And it just seemed like a cool flavour to add to this soup. Some friends of ours, who used to live in Italy, brought over a couple of bottles of limoncello when they visited us in Germany. We obviously are not drinkers (since that was over two years ago), and much less of liquors, so both bottles are almost intact.
We keep the pretty bottles in the fridge, as it’s supposed to be served chilled. I sort of see them every day, and they are almost like a decoration inside my fridge. The limoncello is made from lemons and has a beautiful, sunny yellow colour that seems unreal. When opened, the aroma that permeates from the liqour is both refreshing and delicate; but don’t be fooled, it has quite a punch when you drink it straight.
However, in the soup is was undetectable, although I think it may have enhanced the overall flavour, since it turned out delicious. Of course, you can substitute with a white wine, which was my original idea.
It’s very easy to make, especially if you’re in a hurry. Just make sure you either roast the pumpkin first; or I guess canned pumpkin could also work. I garnished it with some finely sliced spring onions and crumbled Stilton cheese; however a little bit of lemon zest would probably bring out the limoncello flavours and be a nice contrast to the pumpkin.
- 1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin meat
- 2 small red onions, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil, butter or fat of preference
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup limoncello, or white wine
- 2 cups filtered water
- spring onions, finely sliced, for garnishing
- Stilton cheese, crumbled, for garnishing and extra flavour (optional, but very tasty)
- Roast your pumpkin in the oven for about 45 minutes at 180C (350F). I split mine in half and place them in an ovenproof dish. Facing up or down really doesn’t matter much.
- In a pot over low heat, poach the onions, garlic and celery with the olive oil or fat of choice, about 5 minutes.
- Add the limoncello or white wine and reduce, about 3 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin meat, giving it a good stir.
- Pour in the filtered water, and cook about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and with an immersion blender, very roughly blend to puree a bit, but leaving chunks of the celery and other vegetables.
- (Alternatively you could puree the pumpkin with the water first and leave the rest of the vegetables whole.)
- Return to the stove and heat until warm to eat.
- Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
- To serve, garnish with spring onions, Stitlon cheese or whatever you desire. The cheese, if you do dairy, adds a delicious flavour, as does the spring onion.