I managed to grow several really large pumpkins and lots of smaller ones this year on the plot.
Whilst saving most to carve for Halloween I decided to cook all the smaller ones trying out a few of the thousands of pumpkin recipes on the Web at this time of the year. It's not a traditional vegetable at all here in the UK but having made this beautiful soup I realise what I've been missing. So creamy & flavoursome, it totally delightful. I served this up back in it's shell just for aesthetic reasons... personally I much prefer it in an ordinary soup bowl.
Here's the recipe for this delicious warming soup. It should serve 6-8 heary portions
A 2lb pumpkin (weight before peeling) seeded & chopped ( I scooped mine out so I could use the shell)
Save the seeds for roasting (optional)
2 large carrots chopped
2 sticks of celery chopped
2 medium leeks chopped
1 large onion diced
4 tbsps rapeseed or olive oil
1 medium heat chilli chopped finely
6 cloves of garlic minced
2 Rosemary Sprigs stalk removed & finely chopped or 1 tsp dried
A small bunch of fresh Thyme Stalks remove & finely chopped or 1tsp dried
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock (1¾ pints)
Salt & pepper to your own taste
3 tbsps of either double cream or creme fraiche
the juice of half a lemon
the roasted seeds for sprinkling later
a little parsley or thyme for garnishing
Start by tossing the diced pumpkin in 2tbsp of the oil then roasting in a hot moderate oven ( 200c/ 400f/ gas 6)
Place the shell & lid if using on an oven tray rub over with a little oil and bake for the last 15mins with the pumpkin flesh
sprinkle the seeds on this tray a roast for a few minutes more ( if you want to use them)
In a large saucepan add the remaining oil and gently sautee the leeks, carrot, onion, celery, chilli and garlic until soft,
Add the roasted pumpkin flesh to the sauteed vegetables along with rosemary & thyme and then the stock.
Bring to the boil then simmer for around 10 minutes
Blitz the soup until smooth adding the cream/creme fraiche and the lemon juice.
Check to seasoning and adjust to your own taste
Serve piping hot adding a swirl of fresh cream or a dollop of creme fraiche and garnish with the seeds & a sprig of parsley or thyme
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