Spiced Pumpkin Soup
As Halloween is fast approaching, it makes perfect sense to make a soup using pumpkin - it gives your soup a soft, velvety texture and is packed full of goodness. Pumpkins are high in beta-carotene, giving pumpkins its vibrant colour and is a phytochemical that helps improve communication between the cells of your immune system. They are also high in potassium, which is needed for the transmission of nerve impulses and keeping your heart beating, and helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Once again, I've cooked this soup using lots of spices and flavour - the result, a warming and comforting soup that is perfect for the chillier autumn months.
1 vegetable stock pot
1 small edible pumpkin
1 large carrot, peeled
1 white onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp, ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Pinch of cinnamon
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp. flaxseed
120g natural/coconut yogurt
10g fresh coriander
Salt & black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°C/gas mark 5. Half the pumpkin and remove the seeds then chop into wedges. Place the pumpkin a baking tray and drizzle over a little olive oil.
Sprinkle salt and black pepper over the pumpkin. Roast the pumpkin for 30 minutes, until slightly softened (but still a little bit firm).
Boil a kettle. Top, tail and roughly chop the carrot(s).
Heat a large, wide-based pan with a glug of olive oil, over a medium-high heat.
Once hot, add the cumin seeds. Once sizzling and fragrant, add the onion and carrot, and cook for 5 mins or until the onion is starting to turn translucent.
Cut the green chilli in half lengthways, de-seed (scrape the seeds out with teaspoon) and chop finely.
Add the ground coriander, ground cumin, cinnamon, green chilli and roasted pumpkin to the pan and cook for one minute or until fragrant. Meanwhile, dissolve the vegetable stock pot in 1 litre of boiled water.
Add the stock and cook for 15-20 minutes on a low-medium heat, or until the carrots are tender and pumpkin softened.
Once the pumpkin has softened and the carrots are tender, pulse with a stick blender (or food processor) until it has thickened, whilst maintaining some chunks from the vegetables.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Once you have bowled up the soup, spoon the natural yogurt over the top. Garnish with the coriander leaves and flaxseed.