Roasted pumpkin and chilli Soup
- 2 medium, or 1 large pumpkin
- 5 garlic cloves, whole
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- Pumpkin seeds (from the pumpkins)
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- Dollop of crème fraîche
- Sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper
Spicy and thick, this delicious roasted pumpkin and chilli soup will not only warm you up, but fill you up, all day long. Top tip: this soup is great for batch cooking and freezing (try pouring it into ice cube trays for babies).
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/ gas mark 5. Cut o the tops of the pumpkins, cut in half and scoop out the seeds and flesh, placing them into a bowl of water. The seeds will rise to the top and be easy to remove later.
2. Cut the pumpkins into wedges and place on a baking tray with the whole garlic cloves. Drizzle with one tbsp olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar, then season well. Add a tsp of chilli flakes if using. Pop the tray into the oven for around 30 minutes, until the pumpkins are soft, golden and caramelised. Leave to cool slightly so you can peel o the skins with your hands – they should come off pretty easily, leaving the flesh behind.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin seeds. Rinse the seeds under cold water in a sieve, then place in a bowl of water to remove the pulp with your hands. Boil in water, adding a tsp of salt, for around five minutes over a low-medium heat. Drain in a colander and pat dry with a tea towel before arranging on a baking tray. Massage olive oil into the seeds and season with salt and pepper, and anything else you fancy (for example Cajun or mixed herbs). Place in the oven for approx. ten minutes, then remove and shake around, before roasting for a further five minutes until the seeds are golden.
4. When the pumpkin is roasted, heat a glug of olive oil in a heavy-based pan and sauté the red onion and chilli until soft. Add the squeezed orange juice and zest to the onion, followed by the stock, roasted pumpkin and roasted garlic flesh (squeezed out from the skin). Let it simmer for ten minutes then, using a blender, whizz it all up until smooth.
5. Serve with a swirl of crème fraîche, a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves and the roasted pumpkin seeds.