Winter is fast approaching and it wont be long until we’re wrapping up warm with gloves, scarfs and woolly hats! For this reason I thought a soup was an appropriate recipe to post, and as Halloween is around the corner what better than pumpkin soup? Pumpkin has a mild flavour and the ginger and chilli bring this fruit to life. As with most soups it’s very nutritious. Shop bought soup doesn’t compare to homemade. Soups are a ‘one pot wonder’ so rarely require much time for clean up which is exactly what you want after a busy day with children or at work. As for the ‘spooky’ element . . . this soup has a good chilli kick. If I’m feeling run down, and at this time of year the children are picking up numerous bugs and passing them to me, a spicy meal helps fight off any infection and clear your sinuses.Feel free to adjust the chilli quantity to your liking. Happy Halloween!
Makes 4 portions
Prep – 25 minutes
Cooking – 45 minutes
• 800g cooking pumpkin
• 1 red pepper
• 2 small onions
• 20 g freshly grated ginger
• 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
• 1 tsp sweet paprika
• 2 small potatoes
• 1 carrot
• 1 litre vegetable stock
• 1tbsp coconut oil
• pepper to taste
Pre heat your fan oven to 180 Celsius. Cut into your pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Weight out the required amount of pumpkin and peel off the skin.
Dice the pumpkin into chunky cubes and gather them all into your baking dish. Wash and deseed the red pepper, cut into eights and add to the pumpkin. Put half a tbsp of oil in with the pumpkin & peppers and pop into the oven. After about 5 minutes, when the oil has melted, take the tray out and give it a good toss around to ensure everything gets coated in oil. Then sprinkle the sweet paprika over the pumpkin and pepper and put back in the oven for about 25- 30 minutes.
Next peel and dice the onions, peel and cube each potato into 12- 16 pieces. Peel and slice your carrot. Grate your ginger.
Once the roasted vegetables are ready continue with the remaining steps below.
Place the remaining coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pot and turn the heat to medium. Add the diced onion to the pot stirring frequently until soft- usually about 8 minutes.
Add the grated ginger and stir constantly. Next add the potatoes carrots and stock. Add the pumpkin, pepper and chilli to the pot and bring to the boil. Then reduce to simmer with lid on for 10 minutes followed by lid off for 10 minutes. Your vegetables should be cooked. Allow to cool slightly before using a hand blender to blend into a velvety smooth soup. Top with pumpkin seeds and enjoy your Halloween supper!
Here’s the juicy bit . . .
I struggle to think of another vegetable as versatile, filling and satisfying as the spud. Roasted, mashed, chipped, boiled or baked, this humble vegetable got me through the first 14 weeks of my first pregnancy. When most other foods seemed to turn my tummy to jelly I welcomed the potato ( in any form) with open arms.
And it’s no surprise why when you look into the nutritional value of potatoes. High in folic acid, this vitamin is essential pre pregnancy and during the first trimester. An average portion of new potatoes with skins on give 9% RDA folic acid.
Potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C. As with most fruit and vegetables the majority of nutrients are found just under the skin so it’s best to eat them with skins on. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin which means it can’t be stored or produced in the body therefore we need a regular daily intake to keep levels optimum. Vitamin C has numerous functions. It helps with collagen synthesis. Collagen helps keep our skin taunt and youthful. It is believed to have a preventative role in relation to the common cold and it is a powerful antioxidant.
As tobacco smoke reduces vitamin C levels, smokers should ensure they replenish this vitamin throughout the day with fresh fruit and vegetables and their juices.