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Recipe: Cheesy Pumpkin Soup – a real winter warmer

Barbara Walton, Discover the Culinary Secrets of the Limousin. Les Trois Chenes / Bed and Breakfast, Limousin, France



Autumn seems long ago, the harvests are mostly gathered in, the vegetable garden is tucked up under a layer of snow and winter has well and trully settled in. Here, at Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast, Limousin, France, we have the central heating on, the shutters closed against the dark evenings and the logs burning brightly on the wood stove. What could be better to warm the cockles of your heart than this delicious, cheesy, pumpkin soup?

This recipe was passed on to me by Susie & Mike Griffith of Le Perchoir des Paons

A favourite recipe at their guest house, I hope it will become a firm favourite at Les Trois Chenes as well.



Ingredients
  • 1 kg pumpkin
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1.5 litres stock
  • 50 g butter
  • 200 g Parmesan cheese
  • Half a small chilli, de-seeded and chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper

    Method
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Slice or chop the onion and sauté until soft.
  • Peel and cut the pumpkin into cubes and add to the onion. Fry until soft.
  • Grate the parmesan cheese, and add to the pan with the chopped chilli.
  • When the cheese has melted, add the stock a little at a time.
  • Add pepper and salt to taste.
    Cover the pan and simmer gently for about ten minutes or until the pumpkin is well cooked and soft. Then blend or puree until the mixture is smooth.

    A few asides
    Don't forget to save all the seeds. You can clean and toast them, toss them in a little salt and serve as a nibble, or incorporate into salads for a little extra crunch. If you are able to grow your own pumpkins, you can use these seeds next year.

    I love pepper and I roughly crushed about ten peppercorns with a pestle and mortar and added them to my soup. Of course, you can just add ordinary pepper if you prefer.

    As a variation on this soup, you can replace the cheese with the rind of two oranges, grated, and the juice of the oranges. In this case, I would add a couple of medium sized potatoes for body.



    To serve
    Serve with a swirl of cream or creme fraiche. You can make garlic croutons by toasting bread, rubbing a garlic clove over the toast and then dicing the toast. You could also place the whole slice of garlic toast in the base of the bowl and pour the soup over.

    Put plenty of fresh, crusty bread on the table and top with another dusting of pepper. A little coriander or parsley to decorate would look lovely, or if you used oranges, a little pile of shredded peel would look nice and smell lovely. Delicious! Bon appetit!

    For the original recipe see Cheesy Pumpkin Soup

    Barbara Walton
    Les Trois Chenes chambers d’hotes

    At Les Trois Chenes we have a four room guest house and a three bedroom holiday home. We run food and wine discovery courses where you can sample the rich local foods of the Limousin and try our wines and liqueurs. We also offer painting courses. Find out more here: Les Trois Chenes

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