SPICY PUMPKIN SOUP
With plans for a very different Halloween fast on the approach, we are hoping that many will still try to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations, even if on a lower scale as we all need something to smile about at the moment!
Now, as a parent, I am absolutely sure that like me, you have carved more than your fair share of pumpkins with your children in all of all manner of sizes. However, in my attempt to be a little more frugal last year, I took the opportunity to try out a new soup recipe, which turned out to be absolutely delicious. This recipe can be used straight away if you make it fresh for Halloween or Bonfire Night but it is also great for freezing for use later.
Before you start carving your pumpkin, you will naturally have to clean it out and at this point, you should try to retain as much of the flesh from inside the pumpkin as it is possible. Now the seeds can be toasted and used (if you want to but in my case, this was a step too far on the frugality front!!) but the main bits to get rid of, are the stringy bits inside. Dispose of the seeds and stringy part and then scoop as much as you can without piercing the outer skin of the pumpkin, and if you don’t have around a kilo, you can always add a butternut squash.
Now, let's make the soup - You will need a BIG heavy bottomed pan, a roasting tray and a food processor if available
1 KILO PUMPKIN FLESH (DON’T FORGET TO ADD THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH IF YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH)
1 LARGE ONION
2 TABLESPOONS OF OLIVE OIL
2 GARLIC CLOVES (chopped finely)
3CM PIECE OF FRESH GINGER (peeled and finely chopped)
400 ML COCONUT MILK (1 tin)
½ PINT VEGETABLE STOCK
1 TEASPOON OF THAI RED CURRY PASTE (YOU CAN USE ANY OTHER CURRY PASTE FROM MEDIUM TO HOT DEPENDING ON YOUR TASTE)
FRESH CORIANDER TO SERVE
BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE
Cut the pumpkin into chunks and the large onion into wedges and toss in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and roast in the oven for around 20 -25 minutes at 180° till slightly softened. Whilst this is cooking, put the other tablespoon of olive oil into a heavy bottomed pan, add the garlic and ginger and gently cook till softened. Add the curry paste. Once softened, the pumpkin and onion can be removed from the oven and popped into the food processor and blended till smooth, add to the pan, along with the coconut milk, vegetable stock and ½ teaspoon of salt and a little black pepper. *you may need to add more salt to taste. Continue to cook on a very low heat for around 15 minutes and sprinkle with coriander to serve. Absolutely lovely with some cheesy garlic bread …. Mmmmmm
This is a brilliant way of letting the children have fun with the pumpkin carving (or even painting which is a great deal safer) or get the drill out and make some carefully placed holes around about and pop in the candle and you are ready to go:
Less waste and a great soup to warm the kids when they have been outside.