Recipe: Melanie May
Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 160°C fan assisted / 350°F / gas mark 4
- Firstly, cut the top off the pumpkin and set aside.
- Scoop out the guts (the seeds and fibres) from the middle. You can discard these or keep them and use them in something else. Here are 28 things you can do with pumpkin guts.
- Place the pumpkins on a non-stick baking sheet and brush the insides with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
- Put the tops back on the pumpkins and place in the preheated oven (if the pumpkins are too tall just take the tops off and place on the tray).
SET A TIMER FOR 30 MINUTES.
- Place a large saucepan over a high heat and add the oil and butter.
- Add the chopped onions and fry for about 10 minutes stirring frequently so they don’t burn.
- Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, put a lid on the saucepan and leave the onions to cook slowly for at least 30 minutes or better yet, until the pumpkins are done.
- Next, cut about 1/4 off of the bulb of garlic at the pointed end (not the flat, root end). You can discard this bit that you cut off.
- Place the garlic on a piece of foil and drizzle some olive oil over the cut surface, and sprinkle with salt.
- Close the foil to make a parcel of garlic.
- When the 30-minute timer goes off, add this garlic parcel to the tray in the oven with the pumpkins.
SET ANOTHER TIMER FOR 30 MINUTES
- Make the stock.
- When the 30-minute timer goes off, check the pumpkins by taking off the tops and checking the flesh inside, which should be soft.
- If they need more cooking time, put them back in the oven and check them every 5 minutes or so.
- When the pumpkins are cooked, take out of the oven and place the tops to the side for safe keeping.
- Take a spoon and gently scoop the flesh out of the pumpkin shells being careful not to pierce the skin.
- Leave about 1cm of flesh around the edge to help the shell hold its shape and to prevent leaks.
- Place the flesh in the saucepan with the onions.
- To keep the pumpkin shells warm, back in the oven (make sure the oven is off so they don’t burn).
- Unwrap the garlic from the foil and squeeze the garlic bulb into the saucepan.
- Add half the stock to the saucepan and mix well.
- Bring the soup to the boil.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Stir in the cream.
Transfer the soup to a food processor in batches and blend until smooth or use an immersion blender.
- As you blend, add more stock and/or cream until you get the consistency that you like.
- Return the soup to the saucepan and add bring to a low simmer.
- When you are ready to serve, place the warm pumpkins on their serving dishes (it is easier to do this before you fill them with the soup).
- Using a ladle, carefully fill the pumpkins about 3/4 of the way full with the soup.
- Drizzle some cream on the top and/or olive oil.
- Garnish with herbs of your choice.
- Top with croutons or cheese, or all of these!
- Place the lip back on top of the pumpkins and serve with some fresh bread.