Autumn’ish Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin Soup

This one is technically a two-parter, as I made the soup at the same time as I threw together the Xinjiang Irish stew. The stew will come later. I don’t want to confuse everyone with too many different things under one heading.  The pumpkin should suffice.

Today, Shanghai surprised me on two fronts: first, it’s cool enough now that I wore a sweater when we walked up to the Sichuan place for lunch and had to crunch through a light sprinkling of fallen brown leaves on the road, and second, the sky was…pretty. There was blue in it. Seriously. Patches of blue in the Shanghai sky!  Normally it’s like the skies over the Planet Krikkit.  No point in looking up cos there ain’t nothing to see.

But look!

Look at that sky! This was my view through the kitchen balcony's window as I cooked today.

Our kitchen is tiny, long and narrow, culminating in a semi enclosed mini balcony made of glass and safety railings, which has just a simple cold water utility sink and a corner to store mops and brooms.

We’re 16 floors up and if you stand in that tiny balcony, you are surrounded on 3 sides by pretty much just glass and open windows overlooking the French Concession. Terrible if you have a fear of heights (which I don’t); wonderful for washing dishes with a view.  Today was so lovely that I voluntarily sequestered myself in the kitchen, scoping out the sky as I chopped a lot of things with my really big knife.

Let me show you how to make a really easy roasted pumpkin soup in your toaster oven. I did mine at 200 degrees C for about 45 minutes to get it nice and squishy. Easy peasy.



  • a small pumpkin
  • a head of garlic
  • some olive oil
  • spices of your choice (I used an Indian mix meant for delicate fish curries but paprika and cinnamon and cumin are all good)
  • some yogurt (I swirled in 1/4 cup just before serving the soup), if you want it a bit creamier.
  • some bouillon of your choice (we have a little jar of not-too-salty organic chicken bouillon paste from Canada- I used a small spoonful, equivalent to maybe one cube). Veggie bouillon would be fine, as would using a basic stock instead of water.


See? Easy.



  • cut the pumpkin in half
  • gut the pumpkin
  • oil the pumpkin
  • rub spices onto pumpkin
  • roast the garlic and pumpkin
  • mash the garlic and pumpkin
  • add liquid until it’s a consistency you like and mash it a bit more
  • swirl in a little plain yogurt, if you like it
  • add a little bouillon if you feel it needs a little more flavour (it often doesn’t, actually, as the roasting spices are quite fragrant and rich)
  • Let it burble for maybe five minutes on a low flame, stirring to prevent sticking.
  • Done.


I also separated the seeds from the guts, rinsed them, soaked them for 20 minutes in salted water, patted them dry in a towel, then dredged them lightly in a chana masala spice mix with a little olive oil, roasting them at 150 degrees for about 40 minutes after the pumpkin and garlic were done. You could just toss them in salt and oil and they’d be lovely too.

Bedtime snack of champions!

I’m going to do this one as a simple photo essay. There’s not much one can really say about roasting a pumpkin and mashing it all up into  lovely soup. It’s cozy and warm and comforting.

Before I murdered the pumpkin, I made a pot of tea with Fiona's lovely Uyghur tea pot
Death to pumpkins! Grrrrr!
Still life with pumpkin and really huge knife
When I was a kid, we had a cat named Pumpkin Guts (later renamed Sushi). Same colouring.
Isn't the light just lovely on that gutted pumpkin?
This is the spice mix I used. It's meant for fish curries so it's very light and perky.
Then add a little olive oil to the spice and rub it in like sun tan oil
Head of garlic with its top lopped off, soon to be rubbed with a bit of oil
Roasted things, cooling. I had them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 45 minutes.
So squishy and mashable!
Portrait of mashed pumpkin and garlic with Shanghai lane ways
Mashed pumpkin and garlic, swirled together with water, a bit of yogurt and a tiny bit of bouillon paste
This was dinner: pumpkin soup, Irish stew, savoury buttermilk scones
And then the sun set and it was even better
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  1. Aerlin says:

    I think what I like even more than the recipes are the photo’s and your passion!
    I have had a really bad 6 months and have to redirect my life at the moment….and this has helped me get some of my mojo back…thankyou darling may you never be cured of your insomnia!!!xxxx

    1. MaryAnne says:

      Delighted to see you here! I have a feeling that for as long as I’m technically ‘unemployed’, the insomnia will have no reason to go away… I think it’s just my body’s natural circadian rhythm, which is a terrible match for most jobs. At least now I can indulge in it rather than panic because I have to be up at 6am to work 🙂

      Any requests? I want to help you get your mojo back and if it takes cupcakes or something freakishly complicated, I’d do it!

  2. I also had a pumpkin coloured cat… 🙂 Interested in trying your soup. I have a pumpkin sitting here waiting to be carved and its guts need a cooking project… perhaps I have found it?
    Nicola @ unhip squirrel recently posted..chai-spiced apple galetteMy Profile

    1. MaryAnne says:

      Oh, definitely try it! And the seeds are really addictive. Roasting/toasting them on low, slowly, really develops the flavour and crunch. I tried them once at a higher temp for a shorter time but they tasted a bit card boardy. If you like Indian spices, I totally recommending doing both pumpkin and guts with spice mixes. My aunt buys from for me from Superstore in Vancouver. Love them!

  3. Tracyann0312 says:

    I don’t like to eat pumpkin. because once I ate it, I feel like I’m going to get sick. totally think I’m allergic to it!
    Tracyann0312 recently posted..שליחת SMSMy Profile

    1. MaryAnne says:

      That’s not good. No need to go near pumpkin then…

      1. TracyAnn0312 says:

        Then maybe I will not going to eat pumpkin from now on. Thank you for that great advice Mary Anne.

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