Because I am very very grown up and mature, below is the very first thing I did with the pumpkins. Obvs.
I cooked the pumpkin in the oven before I blended it up in the soup. It's much easier to do it this way because when it's cooked you can just peel the skin right off, and the flesh is tender and sweet.
You need to slice the stalk off the end of the pumpkin and discard. Then slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out all the seeds and stringy bits. (Keep the seeds as you can roast them and make a delicious snack out of them, I will be uploaded a roast pumpkin seed recipe soon. Rinse the seeds in a sieve with cold water, ensuring you remove all of the orange stringy pumpkin flesh. Spread out on a tea towel until they are completely bone dry.)
Preheat the oven to about 250 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the two scooped out halves of the pumpkin skin side up on the baking tray (so the hollow end is resting face down on the tray) and cook for about 40 minutes or until the flesh is soft and you can easily peel the skin off. Peel the skin off, chop the flesh into chunks and put to one side.
YIELD: 4 portions
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED: A powerful jug blender or an immersion blender
- 1 small pumpkin - cooked, peeled and diced (instructions above)
- 2 medium leeks/1 large leek, thinly sliced
- 2 small/1 large onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cups stock
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 2 tsp medium curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Gently heat up the oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions, leek and garlic until tender and translucent.
- Add the stock, lentils, carrots and bay leaves, bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add the turmeric, curry powder, nutmeg and black pepper ensuring you stir them in sufficiently.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Transfer contents of saucepan to a jug blender, add the chopped pumpkin and blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can add the chopped pumpkin to the pan and blend with an immersion blender.
- Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkle of paprika.