Pumpkin and scallop soup

Pumpkin and scallop soup

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

Occasionally, we are rather partial to a grand-scale, historic hotel and the Lujiang, overlooking the water in Xiamen, ticks a few of our boxes. Its seventh-floor restaurant serves some excellent local food and it was there we ate this refined pumpkin soup, as well as popiah, the gossamer-fine, filled savoury crepes that are a regional specialty. Their soup was made with baby abalone, perfectly scored into the finest grid pattern. We’ve used scallops but use abalone by all means, if you can find some fresh.


Quantity Ingredient
600g pumpkin, such as jap or kent
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 litre Chicken stock
16 scallops, roe intact
sea salt
ground white pepper


  1. Peel the pumpkin, then cut into 5 cm pieces. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium– low heat, then add the pumpkin and garlic, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little, then transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Add the stock to the pumpkin purée and process again, adjusting the consistency with a little extra water if required. Return the pumpkin soup to the cleaned saucepan over a medium–low heat and bring to just below simmering.
  2. Using a sharp knife, score the scallops with a shallow crisscross pattern on one side only. Add the scallops to the soup and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove from the heat and season to taste with sea salt and white pepper. To serve, divide the soup and scallops among four bowls, placing the scallops scored side up in the soup.
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