Sitting here at my desk typing happily, I dare myself to peek out the window and face
the gloomy state of things. It is only 4 pm and I’m enclosed by darkness, drops
of rain banging against the window pane. Thank God houses are hollow, I say.
And thank God (or whoever) for hot, steaming soups, which are just what days like
these call for. Soups based on pumpkin have a soothing, silky soft quality to them. And with a hit of chili, this soup makes the perfect remedy for your winter blues.
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main
1 butternut squash
3-5 garlic cloves
salted roasted pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Halve the butternut squash
lengthwise and spoon out the seeds. Put the squash pulp side down in an oiled
ovenproof dish and roast in the oven for about half an hour. Prick with a fork
to see if it’s done, the pulp should be soft.
2. While the squash is roasting in the oven, chop up the onion, garlic and
3. Once the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool for
a bit while you fry the onion, garlic and chilies in olive oil for a couple of
minutes. Now scoop the tender pulp out of the roasted squash, discarding the
skin. Add the pulp to the pan along with some stock, enough to cover the vegetables.
4. Get your blender or hand-blender out and blend the soup until smooth. Add
more stock as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve with salted roasted pumpkin seeds*, if you have them, or alternatively
a loaf of crispy baguette.
*You can make this tasty treat yourself by tossing seeds with salt and oil and
frying them in a pan. Or you can buy pumpkin seeds encoated in tamari sauce at