I’m drowning in pumpkin at the moment. There’s four litres of pumpkin puree in my freezer currently, as well as a couple of kilos of diced raw pumpkin, not to mention the tubs of pumpkin soup I’ve made up, in addition to the large vat of roasted spicy pumpkin seeds. Buying eight large pumpkins for a pumpkin carving contest seemed like such a good idea at the time. But I then spent the better part of a day slicing the beautifully carved artworks into chunks, roasting, peeling and pureeing them, or chopping and freezing. All because I hate waste. So brace yourselves; there’s going to be a lot of pumpkin recipes coming your way over the next few weeks. If it’s any consolation pumpkin is fabulously good for you, and works just as well in sweet as savoury dishes, so unless you really, strongly dislike the vegetable there should be a recipe for you out there.
Soup is, I believe, the first step along the road on the pumpkin afterlife. And possibly also the last as well. And maybe a few steps in between. It’s just so simple, especially if your pumpkin is pureed already; all you need is some stock, maybe an onion, a bit of spice, perhaps a drizzle of cream. In fact I could probably use up all my excess pumpkin in soup alone. However, as with lentil soups pumpkin soups seem to come in two varieties: bland, often accompanied by beans of one sort or another, or curried, ie hideously over-spiced and generally very uniflavoural. Yes, I did just make up that word, and yes, I think I might just use it again sometime. So this soup is hot, it is spicy, but the spice doesn’t hide the pumpkin. Which is great. Unless you’re looking for somewhere to hide it…
Spicy pumpkin soup
Adapted from Pinch My Salt
1 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried, crushed chilli
2 cups pumpkin, cut into 1″ cubes and roasted until soft
1l chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon honey
Juice of 1 lime
1. In a large saucepan heat a little oil and cook the onions over a medium heat until translucent. Add the birdseye chilli and garlic and cook until garlic is starting to brown. Add the other spices and stir in well.
2. Tip the pumpkin cubes into the pan and pour the stock over them. Stir in the honey and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little, then puree the soup with an immersion blender. I pureed about 80% of mine, leaving a few chunks of pumpkin for textural interest.
3. Put the soup back on the hob, bring it up to hot again, and add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the lime juice. Don’t forget the lime juice, another recipe where it really makes the dish.
4. Pour into bowls and serve with a swirl of cream and a sprinkle of roasted pumpkin seeds on top.