Halloween recipe: Smooth pumpkin and parmesan soup

Serves 6

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Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil

1 large or 2 medium onions, finely

chopped

1.35kg pumpkin (or butternut

squash). peeled, deseeded and

cut into 2.5cm chunks (to give

about 1kg flesh)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

750ml vegetable or chicken stock

50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

TO SERVE

2-3 tbsp double cream (optional)

1⁄2 bunch of fresh chives (optional)

Flaked sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened, but not catching colour. Then add the pumpkin and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before pouring in the stock. Bring it to the boil and then turn down to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is nice and soft.

Once ready, tip in the Parmesan and stir through until it melts, season to taste and then remove the pan from the heat.

Carefully pour the mixture into a blender and blitz it until it is smooth.

You may need to work in batches, depending on the size of your blender. Alternatively, blitz in the pan with a stick (or immersion) blender. At this stage you can either just serve it as it is, or sieve it to make it really nice and smooth (in which case it will yield a little less).

Ladle the soup into six serving bowls and serve with a little drizzle of double cream and some chives snipped with scissors, if you fancy.

Recipe taken from How To Be A Better Cook by Lorraine Pascale (HarperCollins, £25)

Image credit: Maja Smend

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