Monday, 18 October 2010

Recipe time

Oh my, Autumn is definitely in full swing now! I'm sitting on my sofa with the heating turned up listening to the wind rattle the windows... Seems the perfect time to share a warming seasonal soup recipe. Pumpkin soup is one of those things that to me, has always sounded better than it tastes - I always imagine it as rich and hearty and flavoursome, but I've never quite managed to perfect a recipe. But this one which I've adapted from the Abel and Cole cookbook seems to tick all the right boxes! I think roasting the pumpkin first gives it the depth of flavour which has been missing from my previous attempts, and the chilli gives it a nice spicy kick which keeps the sweetness of the apple and cinnamon from being too, err, pudding-y? The original recipe uses plain toasted pumpkin seeds, but I had a jar of tamari seeds ready made so I used them and it worked really well. I like to toast large quantities and keep them in an air tight jar to sprinkle on things at will, they pep up a salad like nobody's business.

Good lord I am rambling, but recipes excite me! On to the important bit -

Pumpkin and Apple Soup with Tamari Toasted Seeds

1 small pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large bramley apple, peeled and cut into chunks
olive oil for roasting
sprinkle of chilli flakes
sprinkle of cinnamon
drizzle of maple syrup
salt and pepper
vegetable stock
squeeze of lemon or lime
soya cream/yoghurt (to garnish)

Tamari Toasted Seeds
mixture of seeds
(I like - pumkin, sunflower, flax, fennel and cumin)
good pinch of basil
good pinch of oregano
splash of tamari or shoyu sauce
black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  2. Place the pumpkin and apple on a roasting tray, toss with a glug of olive oil and sprinkle with the chilli flakes and cinnamon. I prefer just a hint of spices so you get the flavour of the pumpkin, but you could add more if you like a kick! Drizzle over a little maple syrup and roast in the oven for approximately half an hour, turning the veg occasionally. It wants to be tender, but not too browned.
  3. Meanwhile, place the seeds in a dry non stick pan, and place over medium heat, occasionally shaking the pan, until they begin to pop. Continue to cook until they are lightly toasted, then add the herbs and black pepper. Finally, add the tamari or shoyu - quickly pour a splash in, then immediately stir the seeds with a wooden spoon to coat them evenly. cook for a few moments more until the sauce has reduced and the seeds are dry and crisp. You shouldn't need to add salt as the tamari is very salty. Remove from the heat.
  4. Once the veg is tender, place the contents of the roasting tray into a large heavy based pan. Pour on enough stock to cover the veg and a bit more (depending on how thick you like your soup -I tend to go for a thick puree that I can dilute later if necessary). Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

In other news, I finished my garland! I am very pro seasonal decorations, by which I mean decorations which celebrate the SEASON. It annoys the hell out of me when shops and places put up Christmas decorations in October, what about the Autumn??? Anyways, excuse the background of my messy messy soupy kitchen, I kind of forgot that our hatch is see through when I took the pictures, I really should have tidied it first. (It is a far more accurate representation of my kitchen than my kitchen post though....)

I hope everyone else is enjoying Autumn? I have become a bit sick of just wittering about myself on this blog and want to make it a bit more interactive, so if on the rare chance that there is anyone reading, please leave a comment! What is your favourite Autumn food to make or eat? How do you celebrate the changing of the seasons? What do you like best about Autumn?

To further this new interactive approach, I am also going to start a series of posts highlighting some of my favourite blogs that I follow regularly. Coming very soon!

Sarah xxx

p.s. small note - after posting yesterday how much I wished there was Apple Day in Bristol this year, my boyfriend found out that yesterday only WAS flippin Apple Day! Honestly I was crushed. I felt like I did when I accidentally went to school the day it major-snowed and was the only person in my class.

p.p.s. I meant it. PLEASE please leave a comment! Even just to say hello! I am going to get my commenting hat on and spread some commenty goodwill on the blogosphere, see you out there somewhere

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