Skip to content

Partridge, spinach and pumpkin soup

Try this hearty soup with its partridge topping and lightly roasted pumpkin seeds. It's ideal for lunch and will have you back on your feet in no time after a morning outside in the cold.

  • 40 minutes prep. time
  • 1 hour cooking time
  • Serves 4
  • Soups, stews & curries
Pumpkin in the Walled Garden at Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire
Pumpkin gives the soup a velvety texture | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra


  • 800g peeled pumpkin
  • 4 partridge crowns
  • 800g spinach
  • Handful sunflower seeds
  • 100ml olive oil
  • Small sprig rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50g butter
  • Sprig thyme
  • Chilli oil
  • 500ml water
  • 10g rosemary
  • 2 chillies
  • Salt and pepper


Top tip

The pumpkin creates a velvety-textured soup, which goes really well with the crispy skin on the partridge and the crunchy seeds.

Step 1

Peel the pumpkin using a serrated knife, cut into 2cm dice removing the seeds (put these to one side to use later).

Step 2

In a large pan add 20g of the butter and sweat the pumpkin with crushed thyme, garlic and seasoning for 5–10 minutes.

Step 3

As the pumpkin slowly softens, add 500ml water and cover the pan. Simmer for 7–10 minutes, or until soft.

Step 4

Strain the pumpkin, keeping the cooking liquid. Blitz the mixture in a food processor, adding more liquid as required, until it's a soup consistency. Season to taste.

Step 5

Return to the pan with a knob of butter, to add richness and shine to the soup.

Step 6

Prparing the partridge

Remove the wishbone. Pull the skin down to protect the breast whilst cooking.

Step 7

Put a little olive oil in a hot pan with some chopped rosemary and bay leaf and seal the partridge all over. Add a little butter to help the breast become crisp, golden and caramelised.

Step 8

Place in the oven for 6–8 minutes at 160°C (140°C fan/gas mark 3).

Step 9


Put the spinach in a pan, add 10g of butter to the spinach and a little water if necessary. Stir briefly over a medium heat.

Step 10

Chilli oil

Chop the chilli roughly and infuse in a pan with the oil and the rosemary for 20 mins, on very low heat.

Step 11

Pumpkin seed garnish

Add a little olive oil to the pumpkin seeds and some rock salt. Place in the oven for one minute or until golden brown.

Step 12

To serve

Remove the partridge breast from the bone. Pour the soup into a pasta bowl, no deeper than 1cm, place the spinach in the middle and partridge crossed over in the centre. Add the pumpkin seeds and a little chilli oil.

Red pepper and sundried tomato fritters: a pile of three fritters on a board with a fork alongside, with red pepper and spinach pieces showing through the crisp batter


From tried and tested classic bakes to healthy dishes the whole family can enjoy, find inspiration for your next meal.

You might also be interested in

Preparing fresh vegetables for the restaurant at Knightshayes Court, Tiverton, Devon


We believe in sourcing sustainable food wherever possible and use local and seasonal produce in our cafés. Discover why this is important and have a go at some of our recipes at home.

Two bowls of spiced carrot and orange soup

Soups, stews and curries 

Whether you're looking for warming soups, seasonal stews or hearty curries, we've got some great recipes for you to try. Here are some favourites from our chefs and local experts.

Butternut squash and roasted red pepper soup in a bowl with a slice of sourdough bread

Butternut squash, red pepper and chilli soup 

Rich, sweet butternut with a spicy twist, this comforting soup makes a great autumnal lunch when served with hunks of sourdough bread.

A bowl of our potato and onion soup with an onion topping from a recipe in our Cookbook

Potato and onion soup 

This creamy potato and onion soup is full of fresh ingredients: fresh herbs, potatoes and caramelised onions, make this a winning combination.