Pumpkin, like other squash, is delicious roasted when it becomes sweet and rich. The curry spices complement the pumpkin and give an extra warming flavour. Keep the seeds from the pumpkin, clean to remove any fibres, then roast and scatter over the soup before serving.
1 medium pumpkin, cut in half, deseeded (keep the seeds for roasting), peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2–3 tbsp olive oil or melted coconut oil
2 tsp garam masala
800ml (1¹⁄³ pints) hot Cooked Vegetable Stock (see below)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas Mark 5. Mix the pumpkin and onion with the oil and garam masala in a large bowl until combined, then tip into a large roasting tray. Spread the veg out in an even layer and roast for 30–40 minutes until the pumpkin is golden and cooked through. Tip the roasted pumpkin and onion into the bowl of a food processor with the stock and blend until silky smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle the soup into mugs or bowls and serve topped with a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of popped quinoa and roasted pumpkin seeds.
Nutrition tip: The orange colour of pumpkin signifies that it’s a great source of carotenoids –antioxidants that help protect cells against damaging free radicals.
SERVE TOPPED with nutritional yeast flakes or grated cheese and big chunks of rustic bread for dunking.
POUR into a hollowed-out pumpkin or squash shell for a fun way to serve the soup at a Halloween or autumn party.
COOKED VEGETABLE STOCK
This is my highly customizable basic stock recipe. If I’m making it for a specific soup, I tend to keep to the three magic ingredients of carrot, onion and celery and then choose the other ingredients to suit the flavour of the soup I’m making.
4 small carrots, cut into medium dice
3 celery sticks, cut into medium dice
2 large onions or 2 medium leeks, cut in half
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch of mixed herbs, such as parsley, thyme and rosemary
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 litres (3½ pints) water
Place the carrots, celery and onions in a large saucepan with the bay leaf, herbs and peppercorns and pour over the measured water. The water should cover the vegetables completely by 5–8cm (2–3¼in); you might need to add more depending on the size of your pan.
Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 40–50 minutes, occasionally skimming away any froth that rises to the surface, until the stock tastes rich and full; take care not to overcook the vegetables or the flavour will become stale and flat.
Strain the stock, discarding the solids, and use straightaway or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or freeze for 1–2 months.
You can find the Kindle version of Amber Locke’s book here.