Spicy Pumpkin Soup

  • Serves 4
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • ½ fresh red chilli or more, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 125ml (¼ pint) single cream, optional
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Chop the onion and garlic and peel, de-seed and cube the pumpkin or squash. Carefully chop up half of the red chilli if using. Heat the butter in a large pan and gently cook the onion for about five minutes without browning, then turn up the heat and add the pumpkin pieces and brown them – you may have to keep stirring to stop from burning.

Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a frying pan without any oil for about five minutes or until they start to pop. Then grind them up using a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder. Add them to the vegetables together with the remaining ingredients, apart from the cream. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Purée the soup in a liquidiser and return to the pan to keep warm. If the soup is too thick add a little water or stir in the cream. Taste for seasoning and serve.

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