“I started using sage when roasting pumpkin and/or squash in the oven and decided that it was such a great marriage that it was time to experiment and make a soup that celebrates this perfect pairing and not only is it a delight to look at with the chilli and sage topping but it also tastes divine!”

(makes 4 bowls)


1 red chilli, de-seeded and very finely diced

10 sage leaves, finely sliced (4 for the topping, 6 for the soup)

Light olive oil

500g pumpkin flesh – just chop it up – doesn’t matter how roughly!

500mls chicken or vegetable stock

1 medium onion, peeled and very finely sliced or diced

Pinch of sugar

1 level tablespoon cornflour

150mls double cream

50g soft butter

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Sea salt

White pepper


  • Sauté the chilli and 4 of the sliced sage leaves in a little olive oil until both are slightly crisp around the edges then remove from the pan to a small plate, cover and set aside.
  • Sauté the pumpkin in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium-sized soup pot until lightly coloured and ever-so-slightly caramelised.
  • Add the stock, onion and sugar, bring slowly to the boil, quickly turn the heat to very low and simmer for 15 minutes before turning off the heat and allowing the soup to cool a little.
  • In a bowl, mix the cornflour into the cream and whisk until smooth then very gradually add to the pot, stirring all the time.
  • Bring the soup very slowly back to the boil, stirring continually until it slightly thickens then turn off the heat and stir in the rest of the sage.
  • Transfer the soup to a blender with the butter and lemon juice and whizz until really smooth and frothy then return to a clean pot (through a fine sieve), season to taste with salt and white pepper and very gently reheat until piping hot.
  • Serve with the chilli/sage topping.
  • NB: white pepper powder is a great deal more pungent than black pepper so watch how you go – add it pinch by pinch until you are happy with the result!

For more delicious recipes and diet tips, head to www.fionakirk.com