Pumpkin and Parma ham soup

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4


1 tbsp essential Waitrose olive oil, plus extra to serve

83g pack Parma ham

2 essential Waitrose onions, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 rosemary sprig

2 bay leaves

large glass dry white wine (optional)

800g pumpkin (or butternut squash), peeled, deseeded and cut into 1.5cm chunks

500ml fresh vegetable (or chicken) stock

4 frozen chestnuts, defrosted, to serve

freshly grated nutmeg, to serve


1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and lay in 4 Parma ham slices; you may need to cook them in batches. Fry over a high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, until crisp; remove and set aside.

2. Add the onion, garlic, herbs and remaining 3 slices Parma ham to the pan. Cook gently for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Pour in the wine (if using) and boil rapidly, until almost evaporated. Add the pumpkin (or butternut squash) and cover with the stock and 300ml water. Simmer briskly for 25-30 minutes, until tender.

3. Season, discard the rosemary stalk and bay leaves, then whizz in a food processor or blender until smooth, loosening with a little more water if it’s too thick.

4. Pour into serving bowls and top with crisp ham, and finely grated chestnut and nutmeg. Drizzle with more olive oil just before serving, if liked.