Why not try this tasty dish for a hot Halloween
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1kg pumpkins or squash
½ cinnamon stick
Freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
142ml pot crème fraîche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful pumpkin seeds, from a packet or prepared from the pumpkin
Chopped coriander to serve
Cut the top off the pumpkin and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and fibres from the middle, and discard or set aside if you want to prepare the seeds. Using a sharp knife and a spoon, carefully hollow out the pumpkin removing the flesh, and roughly chop.
Leave 2cm of flesh all around the inside and try not to pierce the skin. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then cook the onions gently for 10 minutes until they are softened and golden-brown. Add the pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin and nutmeg, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cover with the lid and cook for 30-40 minutes until the pumpkin is golden and cooked through, stirring occasionally to prevent the base from burning. Pour the stock into the pan, bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Use a hand-blender to purée until smooth, or transfer the soup to a food processor and blend in batches, then return the soup to the pan.
Pour in the crème fraîche, bring the soup to a low simmer and cook for a further 30 mins.
Serve with scattered roasted pumpkin seeds, chopped coriander and a swirl of crème fraîche or milk, and crusty bread. The soup can be frozen for up to 2 months.
To serve the soup inside the pumpkin:
If you want to serve the soup in the hollowed out pumpkin, preheat the oven to 170˚C/335˚F/Gas 3. Pour the soup into the pumpkin shell, put the lid on top and place onto a large baking tray. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, to bring the soup up to temperature. Then carefully remove from the oven and serve the soup in the pumpkin at the table on a heat-proof mat.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes