pumpkin leek soup

Leek, Pumpkin and Ginger Soup with Curry Macarons

Happy New Year! Have you all had fun over the festive season? Survived the gargantuan meals? It’s still not over for us yet. With Epiphany on Sunday 8th January, the traditional Galette des Rois are now in all the French pâtisseries and so it’s time to taste all the different variations: plain, chocolate, candied fruits… Admittedly, I prefer to make my own – just to ensure there’s the maximum amount of my favourite frangipane inside, sneak in some fancy trinkets, and change fillings such as this recipe for Praline and Pear Galette des Rois. But I’ve already talked about Epiphany on le blog.

It was good to be back in Scotland over the holidays with the family. Feeling the proudest auntie in the universe, I was introduced to another gorgeously smiling baby niece. Isn’t it amazing how you can easily forget how small they are? Especially when it seems like yesterday when my two girls were born, who are now wee ‘giants’! It’s great to see the wee ones enjoying their food so much, too. No wonder, as Grandpa was serving up his amazing warm homemade bread and Arbroath Smokie Pâté just for starters…

Take a leek or two…

On our return to France, I was listening to a French doctor on the radio, concerned for us all after over-indulging in rich, festive foods. His suggestion? Eat plenty of leeks. Apparently they help to clean out the gut. Trust the French to sound so poetic. With that, I headed straight to our local market and loaded up on leeks.

Are you ready for a tasty clean-out? Then this is the ideal soup to follow the Christmas – New Year extravaganza meals. The hardest part of making this soup is cutting up the pumpkin, but it’s worth the effort since it’s full of iron, zinc, fibre and carotene. Carotene is what we all need at this time of year to bring the glow back to our cheeks, and the ginger gives a great kick-start to 2012, as it’s great for digestion, keeping colds at bay and virility (I keep meaning to ask hubby on that one.)

Bring a healthy glow to kick-start the New Year

Leek, Pumpkin and Ginger Soup

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

40g butter
4 leeks, sliced
800g pumpkin,
roughly cut into cubes
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
800ml chicken stock
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1.  Melt the butter in a large pot then soften the leeks, ginger and pumpkin together.  Sweat gently for about 5 minutes.

2.  Add the stock (just enough to cover the vegetables), cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

3.  Blend with a hand mixer, add the nutmeg and season to taste.

pumpkin leek and ginger soup served with mini curry macarons

Or serve this as a mini amuse-bouche with macarons

Take Your Soup to the Next Level with Macarons

To garnish you could swirl in some naughty cream and sprinkle on smoked crispy bacon. For a festive look, add some herbs to look like holly and add a couple of pink peppercorns – although ATTENTION! Pink Peppercorns should be strictly avoided if you suffer from nut allergies – read more about it HERE from my friend, Christina.

Moreover, take your soups to another level and excited intriguing faces are guaranteed at the table. For macaronivores, why not serve with a couple of mini curry tikka mac’sala macarons (See page 100 of the book.)

Who wants baby bear’s bowl?

In between sane bowls of soup and greedy galettes, it’s just the right timing to prepare loads of macarons today for this weekend’s party. Hm. Too many choices of flavours – what favourites would you prefer to see on the table: classic or wacky? Dress is also ‘back to the 80s’. What on earth did we wear then? Do you remember? Shoulder pads? Jumpsuits? Disco gear? What would you wear?

Happy, Healthy Holidays!

spiced pumpkin and leek soup with curry macarons

Bonne Année – Bonne santé !

45 replies
  1. Sara
    Sara says:

    Can i substitute ginger liqueur for real ginger? I’ve been cooking with Domaine de Canton and its been a really solid spirit for the dishes I’ve tried it in.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      That sounds wicked, Sara! Why not? Makes the soup even more adult with a wee kick to it! For ginger liqueur, I also use Crabbies Green Ginger wine which can also pack a punch. You’ve just given me an idea for a sauce tonight for some Scottish Salmon! Enjoy.

      Reply
  2. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing. I have been searching for natural ways of cleansing with food. Glad I stumbled onto your recipe, I am off to buy some leeks! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Sissi
    Sissi says:

    What a surprise to hear about all these leek’s benefits! The soup looks fantastic and I love the addition of strong flavours such as leek or ginger to the bland pumpkin (sorry, I’m not a pumpkin fan and the only pumpkin soups I have ever liked were with ginger, which gives a very welcome kick).
    I have just started to wonder what healthy dishes I should eat to change from holiday indulgences and here comes Galette des rois… I suppose I will have to wait another weekend 😉
    Happy New Year, Jill!

    Reply
  4. Becky
    Becky says:

    I love all types of soup, but I’ve never made it with pumpkin. I have some pumpkin in the freezer, now, I’ll just have to get some leeks:)

    Congrats on the Top 9 today!

    As for the 80’s I had big hair, shoulder pads, and jumpsuits. so glad that era is gone!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Thanks, Becky – and thank you all of you for such lovely comments. Didn’t expect this simple soup to leek out like this…
      Apologies for not replying to all your sweet comments but with ze party tomorrow I’m running around preparing – and not just in ze kitchen; finally found a jumpsuit, a big hair wig and it looks mighty awful but we’re going to have fun… will catch up with you soon! J xo

      Reply
  5. Claire
    Claire says:

    You are right French are’ particular’ to say at least , i am one of them,
    Congratulations, I will try this healthy soup, love leeks and ginger..:)

    Reply
  6. ping
    ping says:

    Really? Leeks do that? Great! Unknowingly I’ve been having leeks lately included in some pies I’d made as well. Still have some left, now I know what to make 😀 Love leeks and potato soup and pumpkin soup but never together and with ginger even! Will definitely try this out with the last of my leeks.
    And congrats on getting Top 9! xxoo

    Reply
  7. Sara
    Sara says:

    I love the idea of pairing a savory soup with sweet cookies. The flavor combination of pumpkin with ginger and leeks also sounds like a great combination to celebrate the winding down of squash season!

    Reply
  8. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Happy New Year Jill! I love leek soup but never tried with pumpkin and ginger. I need to try this someday soon. It looks delicious – and ginger makes us warm. You are so creative about “curry” macarons!!!!

    Reply
  9. Marsha @ The Harried Cook
    Marsha @ The Harried Cook says:

    You’re in Scotland! How nice it must be to be back home 🙂 I have missed you and your blog SO much and am so glad I finally have the time to sit down to it 🙂 Can’t wait to browse thru all the recipes I’ve missed! This post is awesome… I am a pushover for a bowl of warm soup… I could eat soup for lunch & dinner… and pumpkins one of my favorite vegetables! Thanks for this recipe 🙂

    I was too young in the 80s to remember the fashion, but I do remember this candy we used to get called “bonkers” which were slightly sour banana-strawberry chews… I used eat a LOT of those! Would that work in a macaron? What do I know! Hugs 🙂 Have a wonderful 2012!

    Reply
  10. Patty
    Patty says:

    Love, love, love this combination of flavors in a soup, the color is so pretty and it’s healthy too, what could be more satisfying! Thanks for sharing your recipe;-)

    Reply
  11. Amy
    Amy says:

    An another amazing combination of foods Jill! I love how you have been pairing savory dishes with sweet macaroons! They all sound amazing, and I am especially loving the curry in this one :)! Hope you are having a great first week of the year!

    Reply
  12. Pauline
    Pauline says:

    Happy New Year! Just eaten leek soup today spiced up with cayenne but I shall try Ginger too. Breathing in new baby smell is very dangerous watch out for hormones:-) Of course it depends which end….

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      No problem on that one, Pauline. French family keep asking when I’m going to have my boy in the end. The answer is I already have Antoine – he’s so adorable and always my baby 😉

      Reply
  13. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    I really have to get your macaron book because the idea of these curry macs is amazing! And the soup is really just what we need and a great change from my usual sweeter version of pumpkin soup. Happy New Year! Très Bonne Année!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Très bonne année de santé for you, too, Jamie. I’m still in awe of your Cognac tasting and dying to try out Cognac recipes one of these days…

      Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      It’s so ridiculously simple yet worth trying. Made another version of it last week for a cousin baby. She lapped it up – admittedly the ginger was replaced by smoked bacon. Another interesting combo.

      Reply
  14. Liz
    Liz says:

    Lovely soup, Jill…and who wouldn’t want all those beneficial effects????

    I’d do one wacky, themed mac and the rest classic. As far as the 80’s, I remember the BIG hair we all strived for in the early part of the decade. Nothing sticks out fashion-wise…I think I was pretty preppy back then 🙂

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Thanks for this – you’ve just given me a brain-wave. I need to simply make curry macs for the party at the weekend. The 80s in the UK? There was some serious curries going on: Mum and Dad had discovered Vesta packet mixes… Lordy lord.

      Reply
  15. Tina@flourtrader
    Tina@flourtrader says:

    Glad you enjoyed your stay in Scotland, marvelous scenic place!
    Good tip on the benefits of leeks. While the soup may be healthy, it is not at all lacking in flavor or texture. I would love to have a bowl-naughty garnishes or not!
    Have fun at the weekend party.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Thanks, Tina. Yes, Scotland is the most scenic and the best place in the world if it wasn’t for the rain/drizzle!
      I don’t know what I’ve let myself in for this weekend. I best get cooking now…

      Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      You mean to say you’ve said you don’t like almonds on a macaron website? 😉 I’m a sucker for all marzipan, frangipan, anything i-pan in fact…
      Like you, I’m mad about soups, though. I live on it most of the week!

      Reply

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