Cream of Pumpkin Soup
- 4 tbsps. olive oil
- 900 g/2 lb. /6 cups peeled, deseeded and cubed pumpkin
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 leek, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 150 ml/ ¼ pint/ 2/3 cup single/light cream
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- warm herby bread, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the pumpkin for 2-3 minutes, coating it completely with oil.
Add the onion, leek, carrot and celery to the saucepan with the garlic and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until they have begun to soften. Cover the vegetables with 1.7 liters/3 pints/1 ¾ quarts water and bring to the boil. Season with plenty of salt and pepper and the nutmeg, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all of the vegetables are tender.
When the vegetables are tender, remove from the heat, cool slightly, then pour into a food processor or blender. Liquidize to form a smooth puree, then pass through a sieve into a clean saucepan.
Adjust the seasoning to taste and add all but 2 tablespoons of the cream and enough water to obtain the desired consistency. Bring the soup to boiling point, add the cayenne pepper and serve immediately, swirled with cream and accompanied by warm herby bread.