28 Apr 2013

autumnal transition

The pumpkin section in most recipe book glossaries is usually somewhere after the potatoes or non-existent. Sometimes, they're classified under 'squash' or like in Jamie's Great Britain, 'butternut squash' (which was incidentally what I used yesterday). Most recipes I've seen mostly revolve around soups, risotto and gratins, with an occasional pumpkin cake or pie. 

Surely there must be more? 

Bill Granger's pumpkin cannelloni from his book, feed me now! seemed innovative enough. Coincidentally, most of the ingredients I use to make pumpkin soup was roasted and mashed to make the cannelloni filling. The filling was good, but when baked with cheese sauce, I felt it was a bit too heavy for my liking. 

You can watch Bill make the cannelloni here, but the recipe slightly differs to the one in the book. Next time, I think I'll just stir the roasted bits in some seasoned pasta, add some ricotta and maybe a lemon wedge for some acidity.

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My (boring) pumpkin soup     serves 4

1kg pumpkin, peeled and diced into 3cm cubes
1-2 small potatoes, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes, optional (helps thickens soup)
1 brown onion, cut into thin wedges
some sprigs of thyme
vegetable oil or a knob of unsalted butter, diced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, as required
at least 500ml hot chicken/vegetable stock

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place all vegetables and thyme in a baking tray and drizzle with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake* for 40-50 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Stir during half time if you feel it is necessary. Pick the leaves off the thyme and discard the stems. Place into a food processor with hot stock and puree until smooth. Season again if necessary. Add some more stock if the soup is too thick. 

If you're feeling a bit fancy, serve it with some salted pepitas. Toast them at 150 degrees for about 5-10 minutes or until they start popping. Add a dash of soy sauce and mix. Bake until seeds are dried. 

Add a drizzle of cream and a crack of black pepper to the soup before tucking in!

*If there's no time to roast the vegetables, cook vegetables in the stock until they are softened. Season and puree. Flavour wise, I would say they taste the same.