Aagh, I love this time of year! Once I’ve got my head round needing more layers on (thank you Jodie from Eclectica for helping me out with that, her recent blog was full of tips!). I love the crisp mornings and everything that falls from a tree: leaves, conkers and fruit.
Speaking of fruit, this month’s recipe is an old one I have made for the past 10 years at this time of year. Previously, I’ve been clever enough to grow my own pumpkins (yes, they’re a fruit!!) but not this year. I’ll be using a winter squash given to me by the lovely people behind Lane Cottage who produce our salad leaves. For pumpkins give Farmers or the Fruit Basket a try or to be honest, any winter squash will do.
This recipe serves 4 and is easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.
#1 – You can replace the chicken stock with veg stock to make it vegetarian, and the butter with oil or sunflower spread to make it vegan.
#2 – I always use Will’s chorizo from Shropshire Salumi; the classic one is my favourite and is good as it’s gluten free.
#3 – This soup freezes really well and will keep for about 3 months in the freezer, so if you have got a giant pumpkin or two that need using up this is a good alternative.
Pumpkin Soup with Chorizo
25g unsalted butter
1 medium onion – roughly chopped
1 red chilli deseeded and roughly chopped
3 fresh sage leaves – you can use dried sage but fresh is better really
650g pumpkin peeled and chopped
650ml chicken stock
1 tbsp oil
100g chorizo diced into small pieces
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, chilli and sage. Cook these on a low heat. Keep an eye on them, you want to cook them gently so they don’t brown too much but go soft; about 10 minutes.
2. Add the pumpkin and cook for a few minutes stirring to mix together.
3. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a lower heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. You know it’s done when the largest chunks of pumpkin are completely soft.
4. Meanwhile whilst the soup is simmering, fry the chorizo and garlic in the oil until it is brown.
5. When the soup is cooked, let is cool a little then blend it. I can NEVER wait for this bit, so be warned that if, like me, you want it right away and you choose to blend it with a stick blender, hot soup WILL escape and land on your bare hands. It will burn you and and make you shout but it feels worth it when I get to eat my soup that much quicker!! However, if you are a sensible and patient cook, you can wait and blend the soup after it has cooled, safe in the knowledge you will remain burn free.
6. After blending, reheat soup gently. I always dish it up into bowls then scatter over the chorizo and garlic mix and then dribble a dash of oil from the pan carefully into each bowl.
We have some wheat-free eaters in our house, so soup is normally served on its own but if we’re feeling risky, we choose a loaf from two or of our fabulous local, family bakers: either sourdough from S C Price & Sons or a Norfolk Crunch from R Waltons – perfect to mop up our bowls.