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Pumpkins aren't just for carving...

Supermarkets are piled high with cheap pumpkins for children to carve this week. Why not take advantage of these great prices and make pumpkin soup? Homemade soup is tasty, nutritious and comforting on cold Autumn days. Make extra and freeze in smaller portions for a quick and easy lunch or a warming mid afternoon snack.

Traditional pumpkin soup recipes generally include lots of creme fraiche or cream so instead we thought we would spice it up with a Thai pumpkin soup recipe.

Thai Pumpkin Soup

1½ kg pumpkin (peeled and chopped into chunks)

4 tsp sunflower oil

1 onion, sliced

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 lemongrass, bashed a little

3-4 tbsp Thai red curry paste

400ml can coconut milk

850ml vegetable stock

Juice of ½ lime

1 red chilli, sliced, to serve (optional)

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the pumpkin in a roasting tin with half the oil and a little seasoning, then roast for 30 mins until golden and tender.

Meanwhile, put the remaining oil in a pan with the onion, ginger and lemongrass. Gently cook for 8-10 mins until softened. Stir in the curry paste for 1 minute, followed by the roasted pumpkin, all but 3 tbsp of the coconut milk and the stock. Bring to a simmer, cook for 5 mins, then take out the sticks of lemongrass. Cool for a few mins, then blend until smooth with either a hand blender food processor. Return to the pan to heat through, seasoning with salt, pepper, lime juice if it needs it. Serve drizzled with the remaining coconut milk and scattered with chilli.

Why eat pumpkin? Pumpkin is high in vitamins A, C, E and selenium all of which are essential to the immune system and will help ward off coughs and colds over winter.



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