This pumpkin and carrot soup with za’tar and truffle oil is a definate dinner party winner. Roasted butternut pumpkin and carrot, kissed with aromatic spices and topped with za’tar and truffle oil, it’s a quick and easy way to spoil your dinner guests.
I had a similar soup as this at a local Canberra cafe (Penny University for locals) and loved it so much I served it at our annual truffle dinner with my girlfriends and their hubbies. Yes you read that right, 4-5 courses of meals featuring truffles with matched wines. Can you think of anything more amazing? I can’t!
This year I was on entree and dessert, which was perfect because I really wanted to serve this soup and the truffle ice cream (recipe coming 1 October 15) I made last year. It was a big hit so I made it again and served it with an improved (and somewhat more unhealthy) version of my apple and rhubarb walnut crumble. If you want a healthy version, check out last year’s recipe). Long story short, if you have a truffle season in your town, I highly suggest organising a truffle dinner party with your friends. For recipe ideas, you could check out my truffle mac n cheese or keep your eyes peeled for my truffle ice cream.
Now back to today’s recipe. It’s extra special because the carrots came from OUR GARDEN. I use “our” lightly as I have barely set foot there (i’m not much of a gardener). My husband has been so busy the garden was completely overgrown so I was shocked that these babies survived. I totally channelled Zaira and took lots of shots of the ingredients. Obviously mine pale in comparison but I do love the rustic feel of nothing but vegetables and using light to make them dark and moody.
You’re going to love how simple this soup is but it feels and tastes so fancy. It’s definitely one to make during truffle season though because as i’ve said before, the truffle oil sold in stores is synthetic. If you have access to truffles you can make your own truffle oil really easily. There are a few different methods, the first one being the cold infusion method where you basically chop your truffle into the smallest pieces possible and press any liquid out of them between two paper towels. The smaller the truffle pieces, the better the oil will absorb the flavour. Then you simply soak the pieces of truffle in the oil for one week.
The second method is by blending. You place a small truffle inside a food processer with a few tablespoons of oil and pulse on high until well combined. Then pour the mixture into a bottle of oil and store for at least one week before using.
As both of these methods require a week’s advance planning, I went for the last method, by heating. Heat up your high-quality extra-virgin olive oil in the small saucepan over a low heat. Bring up to a warm, but not simmering or boiling, temperature. Shave or finely dice pieces of the ripe truffle into the warm oil. Transfer to a jar or bottle, cover with a lid or cork and allow the mixture to steep for at least 24 hours. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavour, so do it a few days in advance if you want a strong truffle flavour. For easy pouring, strain your truffle out or leave it in to increase the flavour as time goes on. Truffle oil can be used for up to 2 weeks.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and I look forward to hearing what you think of it.
Don’t forget to hashtag #cookwiththemacadames when making my recipes. I love to see how you went and get a peek at your kitchen table.
Recipe adapted from here.
What you need:
- Large mixing bowl
- Baking tray lined with baking paper
- Large saucepan
- Immersion blender or blender
Ingredients (serves 6):
For the soup:
- Good lug of olive oil
- Sea salt and pepper
- Good splash of dry white wine
- 500ml water
- To serve: Za’tar and truffle oil
For the truffle oil:
- Shavings of black truffle
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. To make the truffle oil: Heat up your high-quality extra-virgin olive oil in the small saucepan over a low heat. Bring up to a warm, but not simmering or boiling, temperature. Shave or finely dice pieces of the truffle into the warm oil. Transfer to a jar or bottle, cover with a lid or cork and allow the mixture to steep for at least 24 hours. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavour, so do it a few days in advance if you want a strong truffle flavour. For easy pouring, strain your truffle out or leave it in to increase the flavour as time goes on. Truffle oil can be used for up to 2 weeks.
2. Preheat oven to 200°C. In the large mixing bowl, toss your pumpkin and carrot with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop into the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat up the olive oil in the pan and add the onion. Cook for 10 minutes until turning translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes longer. Add the spices and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop. Pour a generous splash of wine to get all the good bits off the bottom.
4. Add the pumpkin, carrot, stock and water. Increase to a medium heat, cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes.
5. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. You might need to add a dash of water if its too thick.
6. To serve: serve the soup topped with a generous sprinkle of za’tar and truffle oil.
Storage: in an airtight container for up to a week.
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For another similar recipe, try my roasted eggplant and tomato soup.