Halloween Edition: Pumpkin and Chilli Soup

I realise my fledgling food blog career would be rendered redundant if I didn’t commemorate the seasons! And as today is All Hallow’s Eve…

I’m not a big Halloween person, but I do love autumnal/fall food, especially that symbolic fruit of the season itself, the pumpkin. I’m a basic American bitch at heart, lapping up anything ‘pumpkin spice’ flavoured – lattes, the pie at Thanksgiving, I’ve made pumpkin bread, pumpkin swirl blondies and pumpkin spice cookies already…there’s no stopping me. I’m hooked.

OK,  I confess this soup has actually been made with a Coquina Squash, but you can use the proper jack-o-lantern type (or use your carved one – seriously don’t waste it! We waste a shocking amount of pumpkins every year on November the 1st) if you want to. But use whichever winter squash takes your fancy – onion, acorn, kabocha, turk’s head, the humble butternut.

Sorry the photo’s not great! Forgot until almost too late to snap it.

Pumpkin And Chilli Soup

IMG_8951

1 smallish pumpkin/butternut squash

Oil

Salt and pepper

1 onion

1 tart apple (I used a foraged one but a Granny Smith is ideal)

1 tsp dried sage

Pinch chilli flakes

500ml Vegetable stock

  1. Halve and deseed pumpkin. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a foil-covered baking tray and roast in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 45 minutes to an hour, until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins.
  2. Chop apple (I leave the skin on) and dice onion. Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan on low-medium heat and sauté, sprinkling with dried sage and chilli flakes (to taste) before covering and sweat for 8 or so minutes, or until soft.
  3. Either: puree the pumpkin (I did because I needed some for the cookies as well), or just scoop out cooked flesh and add to pan along with the stock. Simmer for 10-15 minutes just to allow flavours to combine. Stir occasionally to break up any large pieces of pumpkin.
  4. Blend until smooth or if you like your soups chunky, leave as is and serve. If it’s too thick, slacken with some milk (or if you want to be really luxurious, cream!).
  5. Ladle into bowls and serve hot, preferably with some good crusty bread.
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