In the meantime look out for the winter squashes such as butternut. According to Mrs Smith, a firm specialising in pumpkins called La Ferme de Ste Marthe, Cour Cheverny, France, produces a recipe booklet advising the cook always to begin by steaming or baking the squash to soften the skin. Then, she says, 'Treat it like you would a parsnip. Roast it.'
This week's winning recipe for pumpkin soup from Alison Davidson of Lymington, Hampshire, calls for butternut, but most varieties will do. Her prize is two bottles of 1991 Avignonesi Bianco from Reid Wines near Bristol.
Pumpkin Soup with Coriander
Ingredients: 1lb/450g butternut squash, par-baked for 20 minutes, deseeded, cubed and peeled
1-2oz/25-50g butter or olive oil
1tbs white flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 plump clove garlic, minced
1 pint/475ml chicken stock
juice of 1 orange
1tbs tomato puree
4oz/115g smoked streaky bacon, diced
ground cumin to taste
ground coriander seeds to taste
salt and pepper
lemon juice to taste
fresh coriander, chopped
Preparation: Sweat onion in butter, adding garlic just as onion becomes tender and light gold. Add bacon and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin or squash. Cook for several more minutes, stirring. Add stock, orange juice, tomato puree and simmer until the pumpkin is tender. This will vary depending on variety. Blend in food processor, return to pan, add cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Finish with swirl of cream and chopped fresh coriander.
Next week, the first of our winter stews. Send recipes, stating source if not original, to Emily Green, Recipe, Weekend Features, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. The prize will be a bottle of 1991 Charles Melton Nine Popes, Barossa Valley, South Australia.Reuse content