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*Disclaimer: “World” as stated in title refers to my world, my own personal world, not the world in its entirety.

I recently acquired a real, country grown, organic black Potkin pumpkin (Thanks Mum!). The moment i laid eyes on this beautiful pumpkin i knew exactly what i wanted to do to it… but my husband beat me to it.

What follows here is the most exciting, fun, tasty and easy pumpkin soup you will ever make. Use any pumpkin you like, although i recommend a sort of bowl-shaped pumpkin like a Jap, Kent, Potkin etc. rather than a butternut, and i say that not because i think butternut lacks anything in taste or texture, but only because the method of cooking requires a kind of flat bottommed pumpkin.

As previously mentioned, my husband hijacked this pumpkin, and he made the “World’s Best Pumpkin Soup!” … and this is how he did it…

Firstly, you must cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin, not a huge hole, just enough to be able to remove the seeds and pour a few things into the pumpkin. With the exception of cutting this hole, do not cut through the pumpkin or the skin otherwise all the goodness you are about to add will seep out.

Next, we add what i like to call “the goodness”. Once the seeds and ‘goop’ are removed from the pumpkin you need to add flavour to your pumpkin. Try half a cup of stock (chicken or veggie) or water, a diced onion and some salt and pepper to start with. In our house we like a light curry in our pumpkin soup so we also add some Yellow or Massaman curry paste, just 1 or 2 tablespoons. We also like to add garlic, a diced bacon rasher (because my husband will add bacon to just about anything) and sometimes we also like sweet corn. You could also add fresh or dried herbs, butter or oil, honey and cinnamon or any other flavour you like in your pumpkin soup… be creative!

When all of this yummy goodness is safely placed in the cavity of your pumpkin you need to replace the lid (the hole you cut out earlier), put it in a lightly oiled baking dish and bake it in the oven. Time and temperature depends on your oven, the size of your pumpkin and the ingredients you have placed inside it. We generally go about 150C with a low fan for at least 45min – 1hr or longer if required. To test you can take off the lid and use a sharp knife to poke at the inside of the pumpkin, careful not to pierce the skin or the goodness will seep out!

Once your pumpkin is cooked then you need to remove the insides of the pumpkin – everything you’ve added plus the pumpkin flesh – and place it into a saucepan on low heat. Mash up all your ingredients and add either stock or water (depending on how strong the flavour is already) to the pot to achieve the desired consistency. Scooping out the pumpkin can be messy if you break the skin but it really doesn’t matter. If you’re the kind of person who loves baked pumpkin skin (like me) then just let it split open in the baking dish, pick out as much skin as you can (and eat it), pour the flesh and soupy goodness into the saucepan and go from there.

I generally use my stick mixer to whizz this up so its nice and smooth. You can also add butter for a professional, glossy finish. If you make the curry version of this soup then i recommend a touch of coconut milk at the table. Or you could add sour cream, pure cream, natural yogurt or absolutely nothing at all.

*As a side note, i had a large bowl of soup left over. Instead of devouring it all myself i made another family dinner from it. I sautéed an onion, browned some chicken thighs, added the soup, another half a cup of stock, a handful of fresh herbs and a green chilli… and *voila* a pumpkin chicken curry!! Served with coconut milk, a side of steamed broccoli and rice.

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