A heart-warming recipe for the autumn.

It is almost impossible to ignore pumpkins at this time of year.  In our case utterly impossible!

Engulfing the wheelbarrow!
Engulfing the wheelbarrow!

Planted in one bay of our compost heap, it took off at a great rate – climbing through the pea sticks up over the rosemary bushes and across the slate table in its struggle to engulf that corner of the garden.  The result?  Three grand pumpkins weighing in at 8, 12.5 and 15kilos apiece.  The consequence – the finest autumn recipe for pumpkin soup.

The weigh-in at Steyning Farmers' Market.
The weigh-in at Steyning Farmers’ Market.

Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Soup A wonderful, warming soup for lunch or supper.   Dress with roasted squash seeds or squash chips and a couple of drops of truffle oil to serve for dinner. Serves 8 as a starter

1kg (prepared weight) pumpkin or butternut squash   (reserve small slice for squash chips)

2 of our 3 mighty pumpkins
2 of our 3 mighty pumpkins
  • smoked garlic infused olive oil (from stratta of course!)
  • fresh thyme and rosemary,
  • finely chopped sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 300g Bramley cooking apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 750ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 250ml unsweetened apple or apple and pear juice

Toss the squash pieces in the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary.  Place in a roasting tin and cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, on 170C or gas mark 3, until they are soft and just beginning to char around the edges. Saute the onions, garlic and ginger, in a large heavy based pan, until soft but not coloured.  Add the squash and apples, stir in the apple juice and stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Check seasoning and thickness and liquidise.  Serve with roasted squash seeds or squash chips, a couple of drops of truffle oil and a little crème fraiche along with thick slices of brown or white sourdough bread.