Comfort Food · Food for a Fiver · Soup

West Indian Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup, I must admit, is not exactly one of them dishes that are especially photogenique. But if you are looking for a warming, comfort food type, meal with a lovely velvety texture and a rich taste with a little retrospective sting to it, you’ve got to try this.


  • 2 onions
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 scotch bonnet (use pepper sauce or other chillies if you can’t find scotch bonnets)
  • 1 calabaza or butternut squash
  • 2 large baking potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 a cup cilantro or parsley
  • 4 bay leaves
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 tspn dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • chicken or chicken feet (optional)


  1. Chop up all the vegetables in large cubes
  2. Finely chop the scotch bonnet and the herbs (but not the bay leaves and the thyme sprigs)
  3. Heat the oil in a Dutch pot or a big soup pot.
  4. Add the onions, garlic and scotch bonnet and stir until the onion is soft
  5. Add the rest of the vegetables, the herbs, the bay leaves and thyme sprigs together with the chicken stock.
  6. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  7. Allow to simmer for about half an hour until all vegetables are soft.
  8. Remove bay leaves and thyme twigs
  9. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. (I like the hand held ones you can use in the pot as it saves you doing a lot of extra washing up…)
  10. Serve with fresh bread and enjoy! =)

Personally, I like to have chicken in this soup, whereas the Man wants chicken feet in it. None of them is necessary, but add to the taste. When you make the broth, or stock if you like, (because let’s face it – the cubed versions are nowhere near as nice as the home made stuff) you can use a boiler hen and add chicken feet at the end (last half hour or so) of the boiling process and save the meat and the feet to add to the soup after it has been pureed.

I would also like to add that I like to add some maggi seasoning and a bit of guinness to my soup, but again both are optional. Some people also like to add some cream or to put a dollop of sour cream on top of the soup.

The soup can be kept in the freezer, but you will need to add some extra water when you heat it. It won’t have the same velvety texture, but it will still have the same lovely taste.