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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Pumpkin and Orange Soup with a Hint of Chilli

The weather has just started to cool down here and winter is definitely on its way - it's time for some warming soup! Pumpkins are very much in season, most people cutting them out for Halloween but throwing away the beautiful flesh.  Pumpkin has a very mild but distinctive flavour and, of course, that flavour is intensfied  by making into a soup. The chilli should only appear as a finishing warmth in the throat.  If the overriding flavour is chilli or your lips start to tingle its possible you've added too much and killed the pumpkin!
I think the Americans may well use a pumpkin or two for Thanksgiving so, with that in mind, here is my recipe for a pumpkin soup with orange and a hint of warming chilli.

1 small pumpkin
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
75 g margarine
75 g flour
2 stock cubes (I use chicken stock but you can use vegetable just as well)
100 ml orange juice or juice and zest of a fresh orange
2 litres water
couple small hot chillis.  I use little Spanish guindillas which I grow.

Peel and de-seed the pumpkin and chop up the flesh.
Dice the onions, chop the garlic.
In a large pan  put the margarine, pumpkin, garlic, onion and chillis.  The idea of the chilli is only to add some warmth and not overpower the soup.
On a high heat cook for 5 minutes stirring, turn down the heat and stir in the flour.
Make sure the flour is fully mixed in.
Add half the water and turn the heat up again. As the temperature of the water increases it will thicken so add the rest of the water and the orange juice.
Crumble in the stock cubes.  Taste the soup and add seasoning to suit yourself
Boil the soup until the pumpkin is soft - normally 10 - 12 minutes
Preferably using a hand held stick blender thoroughly blend the soup to a smooth rich texture
Serve with a dash of cream and plenty of crusty bread

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