1 medium onion, sliced
1 tblspn sugar (optional, depending on the flavour of the vegetables)
pepper, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
900 ml good chicken stock, or use water
.5 cup milk
1 tspn salt
cream to serve
Place vegetables in a pan with the stock, add a little seasoning and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes until tender, remove from the heat and cool a little.
Blend smoothly and leave until ready to serve. I use my stick blender to save on washing up.
This can be done a few hours before needed, but must be covered and chilled while waiting. This soup, like many fresh vegetable soups, loses flavour if kept waiting too long.
(If making ahead it is a good idea to freeze it until ready to use.)
Heat the mixture gently to very hot, add milk, pinch of cinnamon and a larger pinch of nutmeg and check for taste. Spices should not really be identifiable, just tantalizingly elusive! If soup is too thick add a little more stock or water as too much milk will make it heavy.
Hold at a simmer over a simmer mat until serving then pour into bowls, top each with a spoonful of cream.
A few grains of nutmeg can be sprinkled effectively on the cream when serving, or chives, crunchy croutons, crumbled cooked bacon...my daughter likes to add small cubes of cream cheese rather than cream.
This is a good basic recipe that does not need much fiddling about...the addition of a few thin slices of fresh peeled ginger to the vegetables is a nice alternative taste addition. Shredded spinach or silver beet is also good tossed in for texture and interest, and the soup can be simply mashed well for a change in texture.
I also use this recipe as a basis when I need to empty out the fridge of any sad (but sound) veggies such as carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, an apple or two, often as well as the pumpkin. I call this "Fridge Soup".
It changes the flavour subtly, makes me feel virtuously thrifty as a nod to my mum and grandmother, who both also hated to waste any food and were great soup makers.