The tricks of Halloween may have been and gone for another year, but pumpkin-based foods are still very much a treat to enjoy through this season.
I was intrigued to cook pumpkin as I’d never even carved one, let alone cooked it. As a fellow squash plant, it’s very similar to preparing a butternut squash, but thankfully, slightly less labour intensive.
Soup is definitely back in vogue on these increasingly chilly, autumnal days. This pumpkin soup dish is a slightly richer variation of a BBC Good Food recipe, using cream instead of creme fraiche. It’s sweet and herby and the toasted pumpkin seeds make for an innovative garnish adding a crunchy texture and salty flavour.
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 small red onions, chopped
- two thirds of a small to medium sized pumpkin, approx. 800g, chopped into cubes
- a handful of pumpkin seeds (from the pumpkin you’ve just prepared)
- 100g split red lentils
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 l vegetable stock
- 75ml double cream
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of sugar
Preparation time: 20 minutes (unless you are an advanced pumpkin peeler!)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan.
- Add the onions and cook for five minutes or so, until soft. Stir in the garlic, chopped pumpkin and lentils and sprinkle the thyme over the ingredients.
- Pour in the hot stock and stir, making sure all of the ingredients are well covered.
- Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 mins until the lentils have expanded and the pumpkin has softened.
- Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds. Remove any flesh still clinging to them, then dry them with kitchen roll.
- Heat the remaining half tbsp of oil in a small frying pan and toast the seeds for five to ten minutes, or until they start to turn a warm golden colour. Take them off the heat and place them on a couple of sheets of kitchen roll. Sprinkle over the salt and sugar.
- When the pumpking mixture is ready, take the pan off the heat and pour into a large bowl.
- Whizz the cooked mixture with a hand blender until quite smooth (though I like to leave a few lumps of pumpkin in the mix). Pour in the cream and stir with a large spoon. Season to taste.
- Serve in large, shallow bowls, with the golden seeds as a garnish in the middle and drizzle over a little bit of cream if you have some left over.
This warming pumpkin soup is perfect as a light evening meal served with crusty bread, or it can be prepared in advance and used for lunches.