This velvety smooth soup by Carina Contain has both sweet and savoury notes, a good winter warmer that soothes the soul.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

50g unsalted butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

400g onions, coarsely chopped

1kg pumpkin flesh

Cut into pieces


1.2 litres vegetable stock, hot

50g pumpkin seeds

2 firm pears

Freshly ground black pepper

100g mature Cheddar (such as Isle of Mull Cheddar or similar mature cheddar) grated


  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat then add the onions and fry gently until translucent. This will take about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the pumpkin, stir well, then season with salt and add the hot stock.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, put the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray in an oven at 180oC/350oF/Gas 4. Turn the seeds occasionally, until toasted. Set aside.
  5. Peel the pears and chop coarsely, then add to the soup and heat through. If the pears are ripe, they won’t need to be cooked but if they are hard, simmer for 5 minutes to soften them.
  6. Transfer the soup to a blender or use a hand-held stick blender to blend until smooth, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve sprinkled with plenty of cheese and the toasted pumpkin seeds to add a little crunch.

This recipe was kindly donated to the #PumpkinRescue campaign by Carina Contini, Sustainable Restaurant Association member.