Hallowe’en wouldn’t be Hallowe’en without pumpkin soup – and this is the recipe I’ll be using this year. It’s wonderfully deep-flavoured with a hint of spice. Serve it in your own homemade scooped-out pumpkin ‘bowls’.
FOR 8 SERVINGS YOU WILL NEED
8 pumpkins (for the ‘bowls’)
1.5kg pumpkin, edible variety
50g unsalted butter
2 onions, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Several sprigs thyme
1 tsp each of cumin and fennel seeds, lightly crushed
800ml vegetable or chicken stock
150ml single cream
Salt and black pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
1 Make the ‘bowls’ on the same day you make the soup. Cut around the stalk end of each pumpkin, remove the top and scoop out the seeds and flesh. Leave plenty of flesh around the sides and base to keep the soup hot and prevent leaks. Scrape around the inside again with a metal spoon to make sure it is completely clean.
2 To make the soup, cut the edible pumpkin flesh into small chunks, discarding the seeds and cutting away the skin. Set aside.
3 Melt the butter in a large saucepan and gently fry the onions for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, thyme and seeds and fry for a further minute. Add the vegetable or chicken stock and chopped pumpkin, and heat until simmering. Cover with a lid and cook very gently for 25 to 30 minutes until the pumpkin is very soft.
4 Blend the soup in a blender until smooth. Return to a clean pan.
5 Stir in the cream and season, adding a little water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the pumpkin bowls, sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.
COOK’S TIP Use the smaller, sweeter varieties of pumpkin for cooking. The larger ones sold for jack-o’-lanterns tend to have flavourless, watery flesh that is usually discarded.Read more →