Being a half Cantonese and half Hakka, I grew up drinking Cantonese soups. Don’t know why but most independent grown-up Cantonese will naturally know how to make soup. I guess that’s because when one leaves home, lives alone, travels abroad, has their own family, he or she would spontaneously look for the most familiar taste and smell of his or her life. And soup, must be in the gene, the blood of every Cantonese.
Mum used to blame me not making serious Cantonese soup. Elder generation may consider the typical Cantonese soups are usually ‘herbal soup’, which is believed to be with high nutritional value, or even be able to cure disease. I have kept in freezer some expensive soup ingredients, such as dry deer’s penis, which my late grandma gave me years ago and hoped me gain physical strength. Well I do make soup often but usually the quick ones, which are made of seasoning vegetables and meat being cooked in about an hour.
This pumpkin soup I am writing is one of those I like, according to my soup principles – seasonal, nutritious, simple, and tasty. Pumpkin, or squash is one of the most common vegetable that can be obtained all year round. But autumn is exactly the right season for having best quality pumpkin. There is a large variety of pumpkin or squash worldwide. For this recipe, I use the starchy and sweet type with hard skin. And when making Cantonese soup, I will keep the skin, which also contains lots of nutrition. Don’t worry, it will turn very soft after simmering.