Sunday, 18 September 2011

Recipe XXV - Thick Pumpkin and Garlic Soup and Pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)

Ingredients for the soup:
1 pumpkin
2 onions
1 courgette
1 litre vegetable stock
8 or more cloves of garlic, whole
10 cloves of cardemom, seeded
A spoonful of coriander powder
10 peppercorns
2 slices of 1.5cm-wide slices of bacon, e.g. pancetta

Instructions for the soup:
Peel the outer layer of the pumpkin off and remove the seeds (don't throw them away - see below!). A potato peeler sometimes does the trick, but an ordinary knife is just as good. Put the cloves of garlic in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the pumpkin, the onion and the courgette into small pieces.

Crush some peppercorns with a pestle and mortar. Fry the onion and the courgette until they have sweated, adding some of the pepper and all the coriander powder, and then add the pumpkin. After about ten minutes, add some hot vegetable stock and boil with the lid on on a medium temperature.

Remove the garlic from the oven, crush it and add it to the pot with the cardemom, stirring it in really well. Fry some pieces of pancetta in olive oil with the rest of the crushed peppercorns.

Once the pumpkin has softened, take all the contents of the pot and put them in the blender to turn into a pulpy soup. Once removed, serve immediately. Sprinkle the top with the pancetta for extra flavour, or mix it into the soup, like I did.

Instructions for the pepitas:
Remove the seeds from the pumpkin - never throw them away, they are too tasty! You can wash them, take off all the flesh and stringy parts of the pumpkin and put them on an oiled baking tray, spread salt over the top, then turn them over so they are covered in the oil and salt. Put them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, and eat either immediately or store them in an airtight container.

A pitted pumpkin

After roasting

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