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Chilli Pumpkin Soup

Mary McCartney
  • Serves: 6
  • Preparation: 15
  • Cooking: 30-35
  • Ready: 45

This hearty soup from Mary McCartney combines pumpkin with a hint of chilli heat – soulful comfort food that leaves you with a satisfied, healthy and warm feeling on a cold night.


  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 medium white onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 700 g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 medium red chilli, deseeded and chopped (or 2 if you like a little extra heat), or pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 400 g tin butter beans, drained
  • 4 litres vegetable stock
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • pumpkin seeds, to garnish
  • drizzle of chilli oil or extra-virgin olive oil (optional)


Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onions, garlic, carrot and celery and sauté for a couple of minutes. Next, add the chopped pumpkin, sage, chilli, sweet potato and butter beans and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.

Pour in the vegetable stock, stir and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 25–30 minutes, or until all the vegetables and beans have softened and cooked through.

Allow to cool slightly before whizzing with a stick blender in the pan. (If blending in a food processor, let the soup cool slightly, then ladle in small amounts and blend a bit at a time.)

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small, dry, heavy-bottomed frying pan, heating them until they go crisp – about 3 minutes. Don’t let them burn. Take off the heat. Sprinkle these pumpkin seeds on top of the soup (about 6 each portion) and drizzle with a little oil and thinly sliced red chilli, if desired.

Additonal notes

This recipe comes from Mary McCartney’s new cookbook, At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends, out now published in hardback by Chatto & Windus.

Image copyright Mary McCartney.

“My mum loved pumpkins; she and Dad grew pumpkins every year. So we would carve them for Halloween, but we also cooked many pumpkin recipes throughout the season. I love the combination of pumpkin with a hint of chilli heat. Use more or less chilli, depending on how hot you like it.”

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