It’s Hallowe’en, so evidently what you need in a starter is all of the pumpkin. Soup and homemade bread are perfect for cold autumn nights. The soup recipe is adapted from Lorraine Pascal and the bread is from Delia Smith.
Roasted Pumpkin and Chilli Soup:
1 small pumpkin
4 small cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
1 large onion
1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (or ground ginger/cumin/coriander seed)
1 or 2 small hot chillies, seeded and finely chopped, plus extra sliced for garnish
1 3/4 pints vegetable stock
Squeeze of lime juice
Coconut milk and fresh Coriander leaves to serve.
1. Preheat oven to 220°c
2. Quarter your pumpkin and scoop out all the seeds. Score the flesh in a criss cross so you can remove it from the skin easily later. Put a crushed garlic clove on each quarter where the seeds were and pour a little olive oil on the pumpkin.
3. Put on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
4. Now dice up your onion and put it in a pan with a tsp of butter and a tsp of oil. Cook until soft and slightly caramelised, about 30 minutes.
5. Take out your pumpkin and check it’s tender and cooked. Add the chillies, roasted garlic, other spices and stock to the onion. Then scoop out the pumpkin flesh and add that.
6. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
7. Blend the soup in batches. Then add the lime and season to taste.
8. Put a little sour cream or coconut milk, coriander and maybe some chilli slices on the top of each portion and serve.
Pumpkin, Cheddar and Pumpkin Seed Bread:
6 oz Pumpkin
2 oz Cheddar
1 oz Pumpkin Seed
8 oz Self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp milk
1. Preheat oven to 190°c
2. Sift the flour and salt. Then grate in the pumpkin and toss with the flour until mixed.
3. Add the pumpkin seeds and 2/3 of the cheddar. Mix.
4. Beat together egg and milk and slowly incorporate into dry ingredients. Mix with a palette knife until it forms a sticky dough.
5. Make the dough into a 6″ round on a greased baking sheet.
6. Use a blunt knife to make a cross on the top of your loaf and then sprinkle with a little flour, the remaining cheese and a few pumpkin seeds.
7. Bake on top shelf for 40-45 minutes. It should be golden and crusty.
Make Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington watch, mournfully, as you tuck in.