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This soup is one of those ones that could almost be classified as a stew. It is packed with flavour, textures and aromas, Alison Lambert writes.
Pumpkin, bean and rice soup
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 onion, finely diced
1 leek, sliced thinly
4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
½ tsp smoked paprika
2 sticks of celery (including the tender pale leaves), finely sliced
2 fresh bay leaves
½ tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
400g pumpkin, cut into 1cm dice
330g tin borlotti, cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed
200g tin peeled tomatoes, crushed
100g (½ cup) short grain (risotto) rice
small handful flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
40g feta cheese (sheep) or freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a large pot over moderate heat.
Add the onion, leek, garlic and celery. Cook without colouring until the vegetables are tender (10 minutes).
Add the pumpkin, smoked paprika, bay leaves and rosemary. Stir to combine.
Add the tomatoes and about 1.25 litres of water.
Bring to the boil then lower to a gentle simmer, add the rice.
Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Cook until the rice is tender (20-25 minutes).
Taste and adjust if necessary. Add the parsley.
Serve in warmed bowls with feta or parmesan cheese over top and a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.