Pumpkin and Red Pepper Soup with Crispy Shallots and Pumpkin Seeds
With Halloween around the corner, and pumpkins plentiful in the shops, this soup is a perfect autumnal warmer. Serve with a big dollop of low-fat crème Fraiche and some warm crusty bread and make the most of the fruits of the season!
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
For the soup:
4 red peppers, deseeded and cut into quarters
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
6 shallots, diced peeled
750g pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2 cm pieces
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Leaves of one sprig of thyme
1.2 litre good vegetable stock
100ml double cream (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper
For the crispy shallots:
250g unsalted butter
¼ tsp of cumin seeds
8 (250g) shallots, peeled and sliced
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp paprika
1 tsp honey
2 tsp chives, finely chopped
30g pumpkin seeds, toasted
120ml low-fat crème Fraiche
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
To make the soup:
Place the peppers skin side up, on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the skins are charred. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to cool. Once cool, peel off the skins, and reserve the flesh.
Meanwhile, melt the butter with oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the shallots, pumpkin and red chilli, season with sea salt and black pepper and sweat the vegetables for 5-10 minutes without browning. Add the garlic and thyme and cook on a low heat for a further minute. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add in the red peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes.
For the candied shallots:
Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, add the cumin seeds and shallots and fry until soft. Add the ground cumin and paprika and cook the shallots for a further 1 minute, stirring the shallot mixture all the time to prevent burning. Fry until caramelised for approx. 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with sea salt and stir in the honey.
To finish and serve:
Blend the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender and adjust the seasoning to taste. Return to the pan, if a little thick add more stock and if you wish, stir in the cream. Gently reheat the soup and ladle into warmed bowls. Place a spoonful of low-fat crème Fraiche in each and sprinkle with the chives, toasted pumpkin seeds and candied shallots.
Recipe by: www.ukshallot.com
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