Deep in the woods there’s an old white cabin
with pumpkins in the garden.
Pumpkin Soup, Little Missy’s current favourite bedtime reading, starts off in a suitably sinister way for this time of year. But this award-winning book by Helen Cooper is far from scary and the worst thing you’ll be left with is a rumbling tummy after reading all her lyrical descriptions of the nightly supper enjoyed by the bagpiping Cat, banjo-playing Squirrel and small singing Duck.
The best you ever tasted.
How could we resist a siren call like that? When LM saw her first pumpkin of the year, it came home to be – firstly – admired, then butchered, roasted and blended to make a cauldron of Spiced Pumpkin Soup.
Made by the Cat who slices up the pumpkin.
Made by the Squirrel who stirs in the water.
Made by the Duck who scoops up a pipkin of salt, and tips in just enough.
Just make sure your own Little Missy doesn’t get inspired by the Duck’s seasoning efforts.
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
While roasted pumpkin gives this soup a great depth of flavour, it is best prepared in advance: 1kg of roasted pumpkin is approximately 1 medium sized pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and roasted at 180°C for about 40 minutes. It’s a good thing to pop into a hot oven if you have other baking going on.
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped roughly
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons garam masala
1kg roasted pumpkin
1¼ litres chicken or vegetable stock
125g red split lentils
1 x 400g tin coconut milk
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
Natural yoghurt, to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and, over a medium heat, fry the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes until just softened. Add the spices to the pan and stir for a moment until the mixture smells fragrant. Tip in the roasted pumpkin, chicken stock, red lentils and coconut milk. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
Purée with a hand-held blender or use a potato masher for a more textured soup. Season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve with dollops of natural yoghurt and lots of buttered wholemeal toast.
Serves 4 – 6.
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