26 August 2010
Pumpkin's healing properties have been known for a long time. It is traditionally used for treating, for example, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol level, sexual inadequacy and cancer. This is a wonderful soup for the autumn: rich, golden and warming, and named after the 'heart of the sun' in its native South America.
You can make it any time you buy a whole pumpkin, but it's particularly fun if you buy one around Halloween and, having scraped the flesh out for the soup, carefully use the shell as a serving tureen before turning it into a lantern. (Be careful not to get the shell too thin!) To prepare the pumpkin (which should probably weigh around 2 pounds, or 900 grams, to start with), discard all the seeds and the soft pulp around them, peel and chop. (If you haven't got a blender, grate all the vegetables.) Croutons are great with this.
1 tbspn of oil (preferably peanut)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 lb (700g) prepared pumpkin
8 oz (225g) tomatoes, chopped
8 oz (225g) onions, chopped
3-4 tspns of tomato puree
1-1 1/2 pints (900ml) of water or vegetable stock
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the garlic. Then add the pumpkin, tomatoes and onions. Mix in the tomato puree and stir the ingredients over a low heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add the water or stock carefully: the consistency should be like single cream. Simmer for 30 minutes and then puree the mixture in a food processor or liquidiser. Re-heat and serve in either a hollowed-out pumpkin or a tureen.