Autumn Pumpkin Soup with Kale, Chickpeas and Crispy Sage

PREP TIME: 15mins


A delicious, hearty and easy soup for rainy autumn days.

Organic ‘boerpampoen’ pumpkin with its bright orange flesh is worth celebrating! Italian inspired soup with creamy pumpkin and chickpeas, salty pecorino cheese cooked with lots of fresh herbs.

I love the addition of a small rind of parmesan along with the stock which adds a subtle flavour. Just remember to remove before blitzing the soup.

The addition of rosemary, thyme and sage is a classic combination with pumpkin and worth sourcing. Marjoram or origanum is not always available but so easy to grow if you see seedlings.

Seasonal Swaps: you can use sweet potato or butternut instead of pumpkin. I think barlotti or cannelini beans would be a good swop for chickpeas.

A stunning soup!




  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large tablespoon finely chopped rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage
  • 1 small red chilli, chopped or pinch chilli flakes (opt)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan fine salt
  • 500g pumpkin, cut into chunks
  • 1 litre vegetable stock, heated
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 3 handfuls kale, white stalks removed, roughly chopped
  • handful finely grated vegetarian pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper

Crispy Sage

  • olive oil
  • 10 sage leaves
  • flaked sea salt


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion and cook, covered until the onion is soft, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the herbs, garlic, chilli and salt and stir until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, increase the heat and cook the pumpkin covered for about 5 minutes or until it starts to soften a bit and gets a bit of colour, stir often.
  3. Add the stock and plenty of pepper (and pecorino or parmesan rind if using, see intro note) and let the soup simmer gently for 12 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft but not mushy. Add 1/2 can of chickpeas. NB: Remove the parmesan rind.
  4. With a hand-blender or in a food processor, blitz half the pumpkin soup until smoothish and pour back into the saucepan.
  5. Add the rest of the chickpeas and mash a few chickpeas lightly with a fork to thicken the soup. Add the kale leaves and take the soup of the heat, the heat in the saucepan will be enough to cook the kale. Season to perfection.
  6. In the meantime, heat a few dollops of olive oil to a small non stick frying pan, when the oil is heated (medium heat) add the sage leaves and fry for a few seconds, drain the leaves on some kitchen paper and season with flaky sea salt, keep aside.
  7. To serve, ladle soup into 4 warmed bowls, add a generous amount of cheese, drizzle of oil, black pepper and a few sage leaves. Enjoy!
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