When I need to feel the comfort of familiar food, but can’t be arsed making a roast dinner or meatballs, this is the recipe I always turn to.

It manages the seemingly impossible feat of being both satisfying and light, and the spices incorporated give it a depth of flavour that I really love.


pumpkin and sweet potato soup


Mum’s Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup


  • 1 butternut pumpkin
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
  • water


  1. Peel and deseed the pumpkin, then chop into rough 3cm cubes. Set aside.
  2. Scrub or peel the sweet potato according to your preference (I scrub), then cut into rough 3cm cubes and set aside with pumpkin.
  3. Chop the onion finely, and set aside separately.
  4. Place spices in a mortar and pestle and grind. When their seeds have been extracted, remove cardamom husks.
  5. Place olive oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the spices, and cook until fragrant.
  6. Add the onion, and cook until glassy.
  7. Add the pumpkin and sweet potato, and cover with water.
  8. Stir in the stock powder, then reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  9. Puree with a stick blender, season with salt and black pepper, and serve.


This soup is best enjoyed with a slice of crusty sourdough bread, and garnished with fresh continental parsley or chives.

It’s also lovely with some fetta cheese crumbled in, or a dollop of sour cream.