Food is such a comforting thing. I remember eating entire pots of mashed potato when I was sick, I used to put grated cheese on the top and let it melt, eat the top layer and repeat. (Yeah, who said comfort food was healthy?!) It was warm and filled the whole in my tummy and I knew it wouldn't upset my stomach not in a gluten free way, more like aewww... dairy? no not right now, or ewwww.... steak? no not right now, the whole chewing this is too much effort kind of way! I laugh as I remember my Dad's reaction to my coeliac diagnoses, so no more potatoes? He was so very disappointed when I said that I could still eat potatoes. He will still tell anyone that will listen that I could have bought shares in the potato farming business because of all the afternoon potato snacks I made. Let alone the massive piles of mashed potatoes that I would consume whenever Mum whipped them up.
Alas, I've not made my favourite comfort food today, although I do believe it'll be on my dinner menu very soon! No, I made soup, the other warm comforting food, perfect as Melbourne cools down. It's gorgeous here at the moment, the leaves in our street have changed colour and have fallen off the trees, piling up underneath parked cars and covering our pathway, perfect for swishing your feet through!
Don't you just love that? Seeing all the pretty leaves fly up in the air? It makes me feel happy, carefree and happy for that moment nothing else matters but seeing the leaves fall back down to the ground.
The colours of the leaves are so pretty, autumn oranges, red and browns, a little like this autumn soup full of rich tomatoes and gorgeous pumpkin. It's dairy free & nut free too,well, at least it is if you don't add my serving options - a dash of cream and a dollop of fresh homemade basil pesto I hope you enjoy it as much as we have been, becuase it is a synch to make and full of good things to help you through the cooler months, unlike the delicious but not so nutritious bowl of mashed potato I used to eat!
Tomato & Pumpkin Soup
Makesjust under 2L, or about 4-6serves (depending on how hungry you are!)
1 small brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2cm rounds
1 piece celery, chopped into 2cm pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 grey pumpkin, skin and seed removed, cubed into 5cm pieces
1 x 400g tin tomatoes, whole or chopped will do
1L (4cups) gluten free vegetable stock
Heat a large 3L capacity pot and add a tablespoon of oil. Heat the oil and add the chopped onion and cook until it is soft and translucent. Add the carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 4-5minutes until softening. Add the pumpkin, tomato and stock to the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20minutes with the lid on, remove the lid and continue to simmer for another 10-20minutes until pumpkin is soft and a third of the liquid has evaporated. If too much liquid has evaporated, add in a slosh of water or two.
Allow to cool completely before buzzing in the blender. I find it best to blend in portions and then mix it all in a large bowl and seasoning with a little salt and pepper.
Will keep refrigerated for 5 days & I'm sure it would freeze well too. Perfect to make ahead for dinner or lunch during the week.
If you're not lactose or dairy intolerant then you can serve this soup with a little cream and a spoonful of basil pesto . Of course, a crispy toasted cheese sandwich to have with this would make it even more comforting!