Autumn / Warms

Pumpkin Soup with Walnut Dukkah | 10 tips: how to make perfect soup

pumpkin soup walnut dukkah

Today I’ve prepared a soup; the art of turning a few simple ingredients into a symphony of comfort and flavour. In my world soups are grand. Art even. They are the entrée of a dinner party and the food I serve for my family on a cold Tuesday evening when raindrops are drumming on the windows. Soups are for the mundane and for special occasions. Hot or chilled.

If you google “soup recipe” you’ll find more than a million hits and the variations of ingredients are endless. I like to keep my soups simple in the sense that I often only choose one or two vegetables. For this recipe I chose a vibrant hokkaido pumpkin. ‘Cause it’s the season. And because it’s my favourite for soup. It cooks and blends well, and the result is a silky smooth and creamy soup. It doesn’t even need cream. But if you are like me and just can’t get your soups creamy enough, add a dash of cream. I won’t judge you. To season the sweet pumpkin I went for one of my essential spice combinations; Smoked paprika, preserved lemons, cumin, and black garlic. It’s smoky, piquant, and, most importantly, an umami bomb. The soup was then topped with a fragrant walnut dukkah (pronounced ‘DOO-kah’), a condiment originating from Egypt. Try to make the dukkah ahead and store it in your pantry – it can elevate almost any dish. Use it as a sprinkle on roasted vegetables and stews, or as a crust on various meats.

10 tips for elevating your soup game!

  1. A good stock can be a game changer. Use home-made, or the best you can get your hands on at the super market.
  2. Boost the flavour. A good soup needs more than just sea salt. Use spices and fresh herbs to compliment your veggies.
  3. Creamy soups doesn’t always feature cream. Adding starchy vegetables, like potatoes and pumpkin, will make your soup creamy. Also, try substituting the cream with parmesan or yoghurt. If you prefer a non-dairy alternative, try coconut milk or nutritional yeast for cheese flavor.
  4. Blend, blend, blend. If you want a soup that is creamy – like, really creamy – put it in your blender. My Blendtec can really work miracles.
  5. Double the recipe. Soups are great for freezing and can save the dinner after a busy day at the office.
  6. Don’t add too much liquid. You can always add a little more along the way. Adding too much will either make your soup thin and less creamy, or you’ll spend the entire evening boiling down soup.
  7. Don’t overcook it. Green vegetables, like peas, will turn brown if cooked for too long. I think we all know brown pea soup. Just let it cook for a minute or two and your pea soup will be bright and green. Get the recipe for my Pea, Mint & Coconut Soup here!
  8. Add some crunch. I love a crunchy topping to contrast the smooth texture. Be that a spice mix like dukkah, roasted nuts, fried bacon, or chopped fresh vegetables.
  9. Don’t serve your soup in a wide deep plate. It’ll cool too fast. Serving it in a deep bowl will keep your soup warm at the bottom as you work your way down. If you serve soup as an entrée, try serving it in a mug.
  10. It’s not for sweater-weather only. I love cold gazpacho-style soups during the Summer.


pumpkin soup walnut dukkaha

Pumpkin Soup with Walnut Dukkah

Yield: 4

Pumpkin Soup with Walnut Dukkah


  • 1 Hokkaido pumpkin (1,2 kg - 1,5 kg)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cloves of black garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 preserved lemon
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 100 ml 38 % cream
  • 50 grams walnuts
  • 50 grams sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Start by preparing the pumpkin; peel the pumpkin and scrape out the seeds. Chop the pumpkin into 2x2 cm cubes.
  2. Heat the olive oil at medium heat in a large pot. While the oil heats, finely chop the garlic, black garlic, shallot, and preserved lemon, and add it to the pot. Stir to cover with the oil. Add the smoked paprika and cumin. Stir again. Add the pumpkin cubes as soon as the onion starts to soften. Stir well to mix everything and let it cook for 5 minutes at medium heat.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature to low and let the soup cook under a lid for 20-25 minutes until the pumpkin is soft when pierced with a fork. Add the cream and let it cook for another minute.
  4. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend at high speed until really creamy.
  5. Serve with a dash of cream and topped with dukkah.
  1. Toast the walnuts in a large skillet at medium/low heat for 5 minutes until light brown. Stir every now and then.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it toast until it smells fragrant while constantly stirring, about 2 minutes.
  3. Tip the spices out into a mortar and grind the spices into a coarse mixture.
  4. Can be stored in a airtight glass jar for a couple of months before it looses its flavour.

pumpkin soup with walnut dukkah pumpkin soup with walnut dukkahpumpkin soup with walnut dukkah pumpkin soup with walnut dukkah

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