SMOKY PUMPKIN SOUP
(Recipe adapted slightly from The Spectator via Steve Kidd.)
1 smallish pumpkin, ideally a medium-sized munchkin pumpkin (I used a sugar pumpkin.)
4-8 rashers of smoky streaky bacon
4 cloves garlic
1 TB. smoked paprika
1 tsp. chilli flakes
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
850ml of chicken or vegetable stock (about a quart)
A splash or two of heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a fairly deep baking tray with tin foil.
2. Peel all your vegetables, and chop into chunks about 1.5 inches squared (peel the garlic, but leave it whole). Throw into a baking tray and snip bacon into similarly sized portions, draping it directly over the top of the vegetables. Sprinkle all four of your herbs and spices over the top, season, and drizzle generously with oil.
3. Roast the vegetables for 45-60 minutes. You want the vegetables tender and charred to bring out the smoky taste, but not incinerated. If needs be, towards the end of cooking, place a baking sheet on a higher oven shelf to protect the veg from direct heat.
4. Allow to cool slightly. Tip into a big, high sided casserole dish if using a stick blender, or decant directly into a juicer or food processor if you’re better equipped than me.
5. Gently blitz the vegetables whilst slowly adding the stock (if you’re not used to a stick blender: make sure it’s properly submerged, and do very short blasts to avoid covering yourself in hot pumpkin).
6. Reheat to piping hot just before heating. Stir in heavy cream, if using. This soup will sit happily in the fridge for four days.
7. Ta dah!
Icing on the Cake:
We ate this with grated sharp cheddar, crunchy pumpkin seeds piled on top, and a doorstep slice of spelt bread.