“Don’t you just love the look of abject fear that appears on the faces of shop girls or fellow shoppers, when they ask if you are making a lantern for Hallow’een and you reply that you are, in fact, going to eat it!” Wrote my friend Pamela.
“I made soup with half of mine and will be making more with the other half this evening. Using what I had in – i.e. what was reduced for a quick sale or from the Somerfield basics range – I used spring onions, chilli, garlic, a green pepper, celery salt (which I love in a cheese butty) because I forgot to put celery in as I had planned, sweated all of that slowly before adding stock and cooking it.
However, the real secret of my success on this soup was adding some thin slices of Chorizo to the mug when I served it – although it was also excellent without… I also like to finely grate cheese into my soup like the French do….”
I was instantly seduced – the combination of ingredients sounded superb.
“Can I put this up on the blog?”
“You are welcome to use my pumpkin soup method on the blog. I made some more yesterday as I had the other half of my pumpkin to use up. It is even better. I added 3 sticks of celery this time and two chillies including some of the seeds so it is a real sinus clean out without leaving your mouth on fire. I also added a small pinch of smoked paprika which gives the kind of flavour that the chorizo added without the meat for any veggies out there.”
All our recipes are tried and tested. They have to be good to appear on the blog. Without exact amounts we had to experiment a bit and although we were more conservative on the chilli front, I hope that we’ve made a similar soup to the one that pleased Pamela.
It certainly tastes wonderful. Far more complex flavours than Clare’s excellent Cream of Pumpkin Soup recipe. I’d definitely use Pamela’s for a dinner party any day. And as I’m a tweaker I couldn’t resist adding some extra ingredients – some tomatoes that needed using up, lemon juice rather than salt and a quarter teaspoon of tarragon.
Thank you Pamela – I’m already looking forward to lunch today and we haven’t even had breakfast yet.
Pamela’s perfect pumpkin soup recipe
700g of peeled chopped pumpkin (wash and retain the seeds to dry for a nutty topping or snack)
3 sticks of celery sliced fine
2 continental spring onions – sliced (the chunky ones)
2 cloves of garlic chopped fine
Half a tsp of smoked paprika
1 green bell pepper (seeds removed and chopped)
1 medium chilli chopped fine (include some seeds if you want a more fiery soup)
1 tbsp of tomato puree
25g of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
500ml of stock made with water and 2 tsp of vegetable stock powder
Half a tsp of celery salt
200g of tomatoes
Quarter tsp of dried tarragon
1 tsp of lemon juice/salt to taste
Sliced chorizo to serve (optional)
Finely grated cheddar cheese to serve (optional)
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
Add the garlic, red chilli, green pepper, tomatoes, spring onion, pumpkin, diced selery and sweat these for half an hour over a low heat (lid on) stirring occasionally.
Add the stock, tomato puree, dried tarragon, celery salt and simmer gently until the vegetables are soft (lid off).
Puree the soup – I used my stick blender in the saucepan. Season with salt or lemon juice to taste.
Serve with a sprinkle of chorizo/dried pumpkin seeds/finely grated cheese.
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