Around the world in 80 dishes No. 35: Pumpkin and sweet potato soup

Ingredients to serve 8, or 10 as a starter

1kg pumpkin (about half a medium pumpkin

450g sweet potatoes

2 medium onions

50g butter

1.8 litres chicken stock

2 teaspoons clear honey

300ml double cream

A quarter nutmeg, grated

2 rounded teaspoons caraway seeds

50g unroasted peanuts

2 tablespoons groundnut oil or sunflower oil

1 level teaspoon dried chilli flakes or powder

2 handfuls of coriander leaves

Sea salt and black pepper

Method

Until I went to America I didn't realise that pumpkin was edible, thinking of it only as something to be cut out as a toothy face with a candle inside it for Halloween. I didn't much like pumpkin pie, but in Houston we had a delicious soup like this. Sensually smooth, rich and golden, it's a perfect lunch soup for a cold day.

Cut the skin off the pumpkin, scrape away any seeds or stringy parts and cut the flesh up roughly. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into smallish cubes. Peel and slice the onions.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, add the onions and fry until golden brown. Add the pumpkin, sweet potatoes and chicken stock, sprinkle with sea salt and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin and sweet potato are really soft.

Using a blender or food processor, purée the mixture in batches, pouring the purée into a clean sauce saucepan. Stir in the honey, double cream, grated nutmeg and caraway seeds. Bring to the boil again and let bubble gently for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt if needed and a little black pepper.

Roughly chop the peanuts. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat, add the peanuts and stir around for a minute or two, then add the chilli. Stir for another minute, then take the pan off the heat. Before serving, roughly chop the coriander leaves. Throw the chilli peanuts into the soup, followed by the coriander leaves.

Taken from 'Orchards in the Oasis: Travels, Food and Memories', by Josceline Dimbleby (Quadrille, £25). Photograph by Jason Lowe

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz