Marcus Wareing's easy pumpkin soup is a perfect starter for a winter's evening. It zips up the sweet mellow flavour of the pumpkin with nutmeg and whiskey cream. To make this recipe vegetarian friendly, feel free to replace chicken stock with vegetable stock.
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Preheat the oven to 170˚C/gas mark 3.5
Carefully peel and deseed the pumpkin, cutting it into small/medium-sized chunks. Scatter the pumpkin onto an oiled baking dish and place in the oven for 50 minutes until the pumpkin softens but is not too coloured
1000g of pumpkin, 'iron bark', ripe
1 dash of oil
Meanwhile, heat a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Melt the butter and gently sweat down the shallots. Microplane or grate the nutmeg onto the shallots, sweating until the shallots are translucent and the nutmeg has released its soft aroma
4 banana shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
50g of unsalted butter
Remove the pumpkin from the oven and add to the saucepan with the shallots. Stir to incorporate and add enough chicken stock to just cover the pumpkin
1.5kg chicken stock
Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes
While the pumpkin is simmering, place the pumpkin seeds on an oven tray and roast for 8 minutes at the same temperature as the pumpkin (170˚C)
50g of pumpkin seeds
Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender and blitz until very smooth. Pass through a fine strainer into a pan over a low heat, add the cream and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and hold the soup over a low heat to keep warm while finishing the other elements of the dish
1 tsp table salt
100ml of double cream
Remove the pumpkin seeds from the oven, season with salt and leave to cool
Remove the whipping cream from the fridge and whisk to soft peaks, slowly adding the whiskey until you have reached your desired strength. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use
100ml of whipping cream
50ml of bourbon whiskey
Once ready to serve, serve the soup in bowls with a dollop of the whiskey cream, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of olive oil
extra virgin olive oil, to serve
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