Monday, November 1, 2010

Spicy Roast Pumpkin and Peanut Soup

Baby it's cold outside... And pretty miserable. I had great intentions of going on a long walk, having a half day and all, but the rain put a stop to that. While sculling a hot cup of tea I decided what I really wanted was soup, and I set to work looking for some ingredients. I based the recipe on a Darina Allen one, but the peanuts were my own genius (if I do say so myself) idea. Anyway, here are the ingredients (although I didn't really measure anything).

  • 1 pumpkin (we had one left over from hallowe'en)
  • peanuts (shelled but not salted)
  • about 6 shallots (or two big onions I suppose. Red ones might be nice actually)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • garlic (that's upto yourself, I would put in loads but that's just me)
  • 1.5 litres stock (chicken, veg, whatever)
  • 0.5 litres orange juice
  • salt, pepper
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • thyme
  • cumin seeds
  • 6 whole cloves
  • wholegrain mustard (I had one with Guinness in it apparently. Good stuff)
With any of those spices at the end, it's upto you how much you put in, I like mine pretty spicy so I went with loads.

Right, Instructions Time.

  1. Chop up your pumpkin and scrape out the seeds and gunk from the middle. Roast in the oven for around half an hour to soften (best to rub a little olive oil on them first). Roast your garlic as well so it's nice and sweet.

2. While your pumpkin and garlic are roasting, shell your peanuts and put them in an oven proof dish with a little olive oil. Also, slice your shallots.

3. Throw the shallots into a large pot with some butter (you should probably melt it first). Take out the pumpkin and garlic and swap with the peanuts for roasting. If you have a massive oven you could maybe do all that at once but I don't. You should be able to scoop the pumpkin out of its skin and toss this into the pot with your shallots. Add in your garlic (if you've roasted it you can just squish it out of its skin, otherwise crush him) and chopped tomatoes and leave on a medium heat for around 10 minutes til everything gets a bit squishy.

4. At this point add in your roast peanuts, stock, orange juice and spices and give it a good stir. Leave it to simmer for a while and then take it off the heat so you can attack it with a handheld blender type of thing. What are they called? Is it just a blender? Anyway.

After this it's up to you really; need more salt? pepper? spicy stuff? mustard? I found I had to add a little sugar as the chopped tomatoes were a little bitter. Then give it one more blitz with the blender and make sure it's hot before you put it into neat little bowls.

Pretty darn good. Although afterwards I realised I would have liked it with brown bread and cheese. Mmmm. Maybe later...