Yes, I know, my blog posts are like buses – nothing for ages then two come along at once! I couldn’t resist putting this recipe on though, and it is timely as it’s Halloween tomorrow. My son Alfie has been growing this pumpkin all Summer and we thought that we would give it a fitting send-off. This soup is a mixture of a number of different recipes, but I think it captures the right blend of texture, spiceness and warmth needed in a pumpkin soup.
1 medium pumpkin (roughly 1 kg, and ideally home-grown!), peeled, deseeded and chopped into wedges
1 large onion, peeled and roughly diced
2 clove of garlic, crushed
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 stick of celery, diced
200g red split lentils
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
1200ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. In a pestle and mortar, grind the coriander seeds, chilli flakes and sea salt. Add the chopped pumpkin wedges to a large baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, coat with the ground spices, and season. Place in the oven for 50 minutes until lightly brown.
3. Meanwhile, add 3 tbs of the olive oil to a large saucepan and gently saute the celery, carrot, onion and garlic for 10 minutes until soft.
4. In a separate saucepan add the lentils and half the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until soft.
5. Add the cooked pumpkin to the onion mixture along with the cooked lentils and the remaining stock and mix well before blending smooth in a food processor.
6. Serve immediately with a liberal grating of nutmeg and toasted retained pumpkin seeds and basil leaves if desired.