It isn't enough for food to just taste great, it's got to be great fun to make too and if you can entice the kid's to get involved - even better!! That's why I adore this pumpkin soup recipe. Children love to help make it because they can create all sorts of fabulous looking Autumn lanterns with the outer skins and with the pumpkin flesh, you can make a soup that not only tastes divine but is packed full of immune boosting antioxidants too. Pumpkins are also extremely gentle on the digestive system so they can be a great food to give a child who is recovering from short bouts of illness such as a cold or stomach upset.
And don't forget the seeds as they are packed full of essential nutrients! Simply scoop them out and rinse them, spread them on a baking tray and when they are dry drizzle with a little sunflower oil and soy sauce. Roast them in a preheated moderately hot oven ( 190ÀöC/375ÀöF/Gas 5) stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until golden and crunchy and then either nibble on them as a snack or store them in an air tight container and sprinkle them over salads and soups.
Serves 6 - Makes 1.7 litres
Preparation time 15-18 minutes
Cooking time 26- 34 minutes
1 pumpkin, about 1 kg in weight
1 tbsp olive oil
1 potato, about 200g in weight, peeled and diced
1 onion . peeled and chopped
1-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
900ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
150ml half fat cr√®me fra√Æche
freshly grated nutmeg, finely grated Gruy√®re or Cheddar cheese and croutons to serve
Place the pumpkin on a chopping board and using a large sharp knife cut the pumpkin into smallish wedges Scoop out and discard the seeds (see cooks tip). Using a small sharp vegetable knife, peel and discard the skin then cut the flesh into small pieces. Reserve.
Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan, add the potato together with the onion and garlic and cook gently, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes or until the vegetables have softened but have not browned. Sprinkle in the ground cumin and cook for a further 1 minute.
Add the stock, the pumpkin and the sage. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 20 - 25 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Remove, cool slightly then blend in a food processor to form a smooth pur√©e. Return to the rinsed saucepan and heat through. Stir in the cr√®me fra√Æche, stir then spoon into soup bowls (for novelty value make pumpkin bowls to serve the soup in. Simply cut a small pumpkin in half, scoop out the flesh and cut a slice off the bottom so the bowl sits flat on the table).
Serve sprinkled with a little freshly grated nutmeg, a little cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds or croutons.
N.B. Make croutons by cutting wholemeal bread into very small dice. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy based frying pan. Cook over a moderated heat, stirring throughout for 5-8 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
Tagged: Soups & Starters