I may have gone slightly overboard this Halloween. I bought four pumpkins in various shapes and sizes much to the amusement of my family. What can I say, they looked really pretty and I wanted to take some seasonal baby pictures for a calendar. But what to do with them after?
The great thing about pumpkin is that they’re not just for carving – even though that tends to be what they get the most attention for. You actually get a lot of pumpkin flesh for your money to make into something tasty and you can even cook off the seeds if you’re so inclined!
For those who are unsure, pumpkin’s taste is similar to butternut squash but with a slightly stronger flavour. It’s suited to roasting, making into pies or turning into soup but has a bit of a reputation as being hard to prepare. The truth is it’s actually easier than butternut squash – just slice off the sides (like you would an apple) and then use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin. Turn it over, scoop out the seeds and voila – mountains of pumpkin flesh, ripe for the cooking with very little waste!
This recipe is all about the soup. It’s from a book by Covent Garden Soups (THE word on soups in my eyes!) which contains 365 soup recipes, one for each day of the year! I can’t say I’ve worked through ALL of them yet but the handful I’ve tried have all been delicious. Great for lunches in the cooler weather, the combination of pumpkin, sage and chorizo works well to provide a warming but surprisingly light soup. I left the seeds in the chilli which added a little extra heat but if you’re not a spice monster (I’m not either) then just put in the chilli flesh itself.
I would say if you’re in to making soups then it’s worth investing in a blender. I once tried to blend with a stick blender and a food processor and it was messy and lumpy – a proper blender will take all the hard work out of it so you can make soups as often as you like.
Makes 4 portions
You will need:
- 25g butter – to make this dairy free just replace this with a tablespoon of oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 red chilli or 1tsp pre-chopped chilli
- 2-3 fresh sage leaves
- 650g pumpkin flesh
- 650ml chicken stock
- 100g chorizo, diced
- 2 cloves garlic or 2tsp pre-chopped garlic
- 1tbsp olive oil
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan on a medium heat
- Add the onion, chilli and sage and cook for 5 minutes until softened
- Add the pumpkin and allow to sweat for 5 minutes
- Pour in the chicken stock, bring up to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes with the lid on the pan
- In a separate pan, fry off the oil, chorizo and garlic until the chorizo is browned
- Once the 25 minutes is up, remove the pumpkin mixture from the heat and blend until smooth
- Season the soup to taste and re-heat if required
- Add the chorizo, garlic and chorizo oil to the soup to serve