The Autumn Equinox may be upon us but it feels more like winter with cold blustery showers lashing the windows and the central heating switched back on. We had some friends over for dinner last night and as a starter I thought I’d break into this season’s allotment squash and pumpkin harvest to make a warming soup (with a slight kick). I mixed an Uchiki / Red Kuri and a few Delicata squashes for this one but they are interchangeable with other squash or pumpkin varieties. I’m quite partial to a Crown Prince squash or Musquee de Provence pumpkin but I certainly have plenty of options this year with about forty squashes and pumpkins to see us through the cold season. Presently I can only eat those not destined for the show bench (we have Dorking Squash and Pumpkin Show coming up on Saturday 13th October).
‘Spicy Squash or Pumpkin Soup’ Recipe
You will need:
- 1 frying pan, 1 large saucepan and 1 hand / stick blender
- 2kgs of squashes or pumpkins* (before preparation)
- 2 medium onions (or 1 very large)
- 6 medium garlic cloves (or 4 large)
- 1 medium strength chilli (I use half a goat’s horn type of long medium chilli)
- 200ml of double cream
- 40g of butter
- Salt, pepper and nutmeg
- Vegetable stock (you can make your own if you have the time!)
* Uchiki Kuri, Crown Prince, Musquee de Provence and Rouge vif D’etampes are known for their wonderful flavours
Soup Preparation (15 minutes)
- Wash any residual mud from your squash(es) or pumpkin(s)
- Peel with a sturdy knife, cut in half (avoiding fingers!) and scoop out all of the seeds.
(Should you save pumpkin & squash seeds for next season? See separate blog post)
- Cut the squash into chunks of around 2-3cms in size, the shape doesn’t matter.
- Peel and finely chop the onions
- Peel, chop and press the garlic cloves
- De-seed then chop your medium chilli into small strips.
- Boil your kettle with around 1.5 litres of water
Soup Cooking (30 minutes)
- Melt the butter in the frying pan on a medium heat
- Add the chopped onions and pressed garlic
- Fry for 5 minutes until lightly brown (watch they don’t burn)
- Put the chopped squash or pumpkin into your large saucepan together with the chopped chilli
- Prepare 1.5 litres of vegetable stock and pour into the saucepan over the chopped ingredients
- Add the onions and garlic from the frying pan to the saucepan and stir to mix the contents
- Add salt and pepper (7 twists each)
- Heat the saucepan until boiling, then simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes
Finishing the Soup (10 minutes)
- Remove soup from the heat and take off the lid, allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Once warm (and no longer steaming) use the hand blender in the saucepan to liquidise the cooked and now soft ingredients. This takes about two or three minutes to become smooth.
- Add the 200ml of double cream and stir in.
- Add a little nutmeg, stir and taste. Add more salt if necessary.
- Reheat the soup for 5 minutes and serve.