We’re just on the brink of the ‘hungry gap’ at the moment; that point in the year when last year’s produce has nearly run out and this year’s crops have yet to get going, so there will be little in the way of home-grown veg over the coming weeks.
However, we’ve still got a good supply of pumpkins (the ‘Crown Prince’ variety stores excellently) and chillies (those I didn’t freeze, I left to dry in a bowl on the kitchen windowsill), so here’s a quick and easy recipe combining these two lovely flavours.
I make a lot of soup in the winter and this is one of my favourites, firstly, because we always seem to have an abundance of pumpkins and secondly, because it’s the season of sniffles and this recipe contains my holy trinity of cold-fighting ingredients: onions and garlic (with their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-viral powers) and chilli (packed with vitamin C and an excellent decongestant). It’s also bright and cheerful to look at, perfect for dark February days.
PUMPKIN AND CHILLI SOUP
Serves: 2 Prep/Cooking Time: 40 mins
400g diced pumpkin
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 chilli, chopped (this is totally your call, depending on how much kick you want. I used one of our homegrown cayenne peppers, which are pretty potent, removing half the seeds)
500ml vegetable stock
Crème fraîche to serve
Heat the oil in the pan and add the onion, garlic and chilli. Fry over a medium heat for a few minutes until the onions are translucent.
Turn up the heat and add the diced pumpkin. Cook for 3 mins, stirring regularly.
Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil before turning down the heat and simmering for 20 mins.
Season with salt before blending.
Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.
(Click here for a print-friendly version.)